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KBJ Claims She Doesn’t “hold a position on whether individuals possess natural rights”

KBJ Claims She Doesn’t “hold a position on whether individuals possess natural rights”

Not taking a position on this is taking a position, and it’s a position with which the majority of Americans disagree.

I suppose if you can’t say what a woman is because “you’re not a biologist,” you can’t hold a position on individuals possessing natural rights because you’re not a philosopher?

BPR reports:

Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearings have ended and she is all but certain to ascend to the high court, but she is still receiving written questions from senators and one of her answers concerning Natural Rights is getting a lot of attention.

As Jackson was measured for her black robes, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) sent her a written question that cuts to the heart of American freedoms. That question followed one other on the subject.

“Please explain, in your own words, the theory prevalent among members of the Founding Fathers’ generation that humans possess Natural Rights that are inherent or inalienable,” one question asked the nominee.

“The theory that humans possess inherent or inalienable rights is reflected in the Declaration of Independence, which states: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness,’” she responded merely reciting the founding document, not answering in her own words as directed.

Next up, was Cruz’s query, “Do you hold a position on whether individuals possess Natural Rights, yes or no?”

Brown Jackson tellingly responded, “I do not hold a position on whether individuals possess Natural Rights.”

Needless to say, people have thoughts.

On the one hand, the Declaration of Independence is not the Constitution and judges, including the Supremes, rule on legal and Constitutional rights, not natural rights, but on the other hand, her inability to state her stance on natural rights says a great deal about where she thinks our rights originate. Not taking a position on this is taking a position, and it’s a position with which the majority of Americans disagree.

Or are we supposed to believe this accomplished, intelligent woman literally has no idea where she stands on natural rights? That would be worse than knowing and being afraid to say.

This reminds me of Obama repeatedly omitting “by [our] Creator” when (mis)quoting the Declaration of Independence.

Ultimately, the left dislikes any rights they can’t bestow and/or revoke at will, so I’m no longer surprised when they can’t state that they agree that our Creator endowed us with rights the tyrannical left cannot trample and destroy if it suits their purpose.


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Moon Battery | April 2, 2022 at 4:15 pm

That’s a really dangerous belief. If you believe your rights aren’t God given, but come from the government (i.e. other people) then they can be taken away by the stroke of a pen.

She needs to read the Declaration of Independence. To me, her lack of position on this disqualifies her for SCOTUS.

    Peabody in reply to Moon Battery. | April 2, 2022 at 5:17 pm

    She will probably call for the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to be burned because they were written by white slave holders.

      jb4 in reply to Peabody. | April 2, 2022 at 7:37 pm

      I suspect her decisions will not reflect a view “that all men are created equal” and certainly not biological women.

      CommoChief in reply to Peabody. | April 2, 2022 at 8:08 pm

      As long as we dissolve the Union back to individual and Sovereign States who could then voluntarily vote to combine into compatible successor Nations then sure. That’s the part the folks who want to toss the US Constitution in its entirety always seem to skip over.

    Ironclaw in reply to Moon Battery. | April 2, 2022 at 5:23 pm

    That’s what all of those communists believe.

    She’s read it, she’s an EFF lyin’ pedo joe biden* nominee. He won’t choose someone who will uphold the Constitution. He’s picking those who will enslave Americans because ever since they slaves were freed the democrats are willing to do anything they can to get them back.

    Milhouse in reply to Moon Battery. | April 3, 2022 at 2:03 am

    Her previous answer shows that she’s read the declaration. She’s just not sure whether she agrees with it. She’s not required to.

      scooterjay in reply to Milhouse. | April 3, 2022 at 6:53 am

      I think it is pretty obvious she has, and it triggered her.
      Maybe Milhouse will agree to be the first whipped for two hundred year old transgressions

      Evil Otto in reply to Milhouse. | April 3, 2022 at 8:39 am

      If someone has been nominated for the Supreme Court I think it’s kind of important to have decided whether they agree with such a fundamental concept. She’s either completely indecisive or she’s avoiding answering because it might create more opposition.

        Milhouse in reply to Evil Otto. | April 3, 2022 at 9:06 am

        No, it’s not necessary for her to have decided what is an ongoing disagreement among political philosophers.

        For judicial purposes it’s sufficient that she is aware that the constitution was adopted in a society where most people believed in natural rights, and therefore must be interpreted in that context.

        For instance, suppose I were interpreting an 18th-century state law that referred to “incest”, without specifying what that meant. I wouldn’t look to my own understanding of incest, but to what that state’s law said at the time. If there were no law specifying it, I’d have to figure out what ordinary people of that state at that time meant by it.

        Now my own religious tradition has no problem with a relationship between an uncle and a niece and does not regard it incestuous. And this was well known in America at the time. In fact colonial Rhode Island law specifically exempted Jews from its law banning such marriages.

        But in my hypothetical case I would say that since, in the state in question, at the time this law was passed, almost everyone was Christian, and all (or almost all) Christian groups do regard it as incest, that is probably what the law meant at the time, and therefore what it still means now.

          BobM in reply to Milhouse. | April 3, 2022 at 10:07 am

          Milhouse, you sound like a Bidden presser “expanding” on what his/her principle said in order to show how he/she MEANT to say the opposite of what the original statement appeared to say.

          She didn’t say she would rule as an Originalist Justice – nor would I expect ANY Biden nominee to be one.

          I’m against SCOTUS appointees who see no problem in ever-expanding penumbra “rights” but I’m equally leery of any who would shrink long-established and long-held rights to a shadow of their former selves. Disbelief in natural rights tells us this appointee would trim and add rights extent for political expediency.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | April 3, 2022 at 11:27 am

          Her answers to questioning seem to show that she is an originalist. See here, and particularly here:

          If you want proof of this victory, look no further than the Supreme Court confirmation hearing that concluded today. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was asked how she interprets the Constitution. She said, “I’m looking at original documents. I am focusing on the original public meaning because I am constrained to interpret the text.” She was asked if there is a living Constitution? Judge Jackson said, “I do not believe that there is such a thing as a living constitution.” These answers would have been unthinkable three decades ago. But a nominee of a Democratic President felt compelled to identify original public meaning as part of her methodology. She is not alone. Justice Amy Coney Barrett–originalist. Justice Brett Kavanaugh–originalist. Justice Neil Gorsuch–originalist. Even Justice Elena Kagan said “we are all originalists now.” By my count, with Justice Breyer’s retirement, only two members of the Court rejected the label of originalism–Justice Sotomayor and, well, Chief Justice Roberts. Seven out of nine ain’t bad.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | April 3, 2022 at 11:31 am

          In any case, I didn’t claim she is an originalist. I don’t know whether she is one or is only pretending. My point is merely that not affirmatively believing in the theory of natural rights, with which many serious philosophers and jurists disagree, does not prevent someone from being an originalist judge, and certainly doesn’t make one unfit for the judiciary.

So you’re saying that you don’t know if your daddy and your brother have a natural, God-given right not to be lynched?

Is that really what you’re saying?

Because I think you’re a fucking liar.

“Brown Jackson tellingly responded, ‘I do not hold a position on whether individuals possess Natural Rights.'”

Then your Article VI oath, which you’ve taken on several occasions,* is utterly worthless. The Framers of Article VI would reject this person completely. Our standards have become so contemptible.

*When she became a lawyer, sat on the Sentencing Commission, became a federal district court judge, became a DC Circuit judge.

    Milhouse in reply to pfg. | April 3, 2022 at 1:52 am

    That is not correct. An oath to support the constitution is not an oath that one agrees with it. It’s not even an oath to argue in its favor, or not to argue against it; indeed such a requirement would be banned by the first amendment (which overrides the original constitution).

      Arminius in reply to Milhouse. | April 3, 2022 at 2:08 am

      You’ve got your head entirely up your @$$. Once again. Not unusual for you.

      When I was commissioned as a Naval officer and every time I was promoted I had to swear an oath to “SUPPORT AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES AGAINST ALL ENEMIES, FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC.” Those words mean exactly that. If you don’t agree with the Constitution you are swearing a false oath.

      You might as well argue that a person who swears in court to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God, in a court of law actually has a license to lie. In fact, that is exactly what you are saying.

        AnAdultInDiapers in reply to Arminius. | April 3, 2022 at 5:28 am

        Sorry, I missed the part of your quoted oath that mentioned agreeing with the constitution.

        Support, sure, but you can support something without agreeing with it.
        Defend, sure, but a lot of people defend things they don’t agree with.
        Agree? Nope, I missed that bit.

          scooterjay in reply to AnAdultInDiapers. | April 3, 2022 at 6:57 am

          And hence the purpose of vetting.
          Can’t put multiple genies back in a bottle.

          Arminius in reply to AnAdultInDiapers. | April 5, 2022 at 8:10 am

          Yes, you missed quite a bit.

          Every Naval Officer swears this oath (not just Midshipmen) when they are commissioned or promoted:


          You aren’t only agreeing with the principles of the Constitution, you are swearing a loyalty oath to it. Unless I have to explain what allegiance means. And without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion. If you don’t know what if you actually agree and believe in that to which you are swearing allegiance is even true or if you believe it, those are by definition mental reservations. Ergo, you are swearing a false oath.

          Guess what? In the armed forces we still do demand loyalty oaths. They have to be given freely. It’s an all volunteer force. If you don’t know if it that which your are swearing undying loyalty to is true, or you don’t know if you believe it, don’t take it.

        Milhouse in reply to Arminius. | April 3, 2022 at 8:45 am

        Arminius, that is bullshit. You never swore any oath to agree with the constitution. Article 6 requires only an oath to SUPPORT the constitution. And that does not mean arguing in support of it. Nor does it mean opposing attempts to amend it, or to repeal it by lawful means. All it means is opposing attempts to overthrow it by force.

        That’s what Article 6 always meant in the first place. But even if it weren’t, all other meanings would have been rendered unconstitutional when the first amendment was ratified.

          kermitrulez in reply to Milhouse. | April 3, 2022 at 11:12 pm

          Force is not requisite to defense. In your intentionally narrowed definition, sedition does not exist. But it does exist. If she were someone standing on the outside of the levers of power railing against those in power, the first amendment would protect absolutely. But she is attempting to gain access to one of the three largest levers of power in our society.

          Therefore, her potential active opposition to our constitutional values is eminently relevant and her desire to subvert such from the judicial branch should be stopped. If she wishes to change the legislation in place, up to and including the US Constitution, she should be running in the legislative branch. She is not and her answers, or non-answers, lead to the assumption that she wishes to subvert the US Constitution to interpret it to her own desires. This is seditious desire and It needs to be stopped. Revolution should not emanate from the judicial branch. Ever.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | April 4, 2022 at 1:18 am

          In your intentionally narrowed definition, sedition does not exist. But it does exist.

          No, it doesn’t. Laws against advocating the violent overthrow of the government are unconstitutional, just like laws against any other kind of advocacy. The supreme court has been very clear that “mere advocacy” is always protected, no matter what. The infamous Schenck decision has been completely repudiated and is no longer good law.

          In any case, Jackson has given no signs that she is opposed to the constitution or would like to overturn it. In this subthread we are discussing Arminius’s bone-headed claim that the oath to “support” the constitution means being in favor of it. That’s just absolutely wrong. It has never meant that, and never been understood to mean that, and if it did mean that it would be unconstitutional. So it wouldn’t matter if Jackson did think it should be amended or repealed, she’d still be eligible for the court. But in fact her answers do not show any such opinion, so it’s irrelevant.

          What this thread is about is her agnosticism about the particular — and controversial — philosophical theory most of those who wrote the constitution believed in. And that should no more be a problem than agnosticism about (or even outright rejection of) the religion most of the framers believed in.

          Arminius in reply to Milhouse. | April 5, 2022 at 8:13 am

          When you swear “true faith” to the Constitution that means you actually believe it. Or do I have to explain what the words “true faith” means? It doesn’t mean, “I dunno if this sh*t is true or not.”

Very scary that she does not believe in natural or individual rights. It makes me think she does not understand the constitution or the bill of rights, or how those rights came to be in the constitution. She has a fundamental misunderstanding of literally thousands of years of individual liberty legal thought, dating back to the Roman Republic.

    Russ from Winterset in reply to Guardian79. | April 2, 2022 at 5:06 pm

    Oh she understands it alright. She just disagrees.

      Upvoted. She’s just telling the lies her handlers have coached her to tell to get into a position where a) she has to swear a meaningless oath to support and defend the Constitution (thank you, Milhouse, you leftist shill) to b) destroy the very thing she swore to support and defend.

        Milhouse in reply to Arminius. | April 3, 2022 at 9:10 am

        How dare you call me a “leftist shill”? You know very well that that is a vile slander. You are entitled to disagree with me, even when you’re so obviously wrong, but you are not entitled to lie about me, which you just did.

    henrybowman in reply to Guardian79. | April 2, 2022 at 5:18 pm

    Just a little historical review of how roundly major names in US history rejected KBJ’s stance:

    A free people [claim] their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate.

    Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.

    The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.

    And one contemporary voice who is a personal heroine of mine:

    To say that only American citizens are entitled to human rights is to deny that human rights are the gift of God. To say that only American citizens in the United States are entitled to the protection of the courts though due process of law is to say that our civil rights are the creation of government rather than an extension of natural law which applies to all mankind. [In Guantanamo] our government wanted the right to create a place to which the damned are sent indefinitely without recourse to the law, without review, without hope. This totally ignores our history and culture.

      Peabody in reply to henrybowman. | April 2, 2022 at 5:34 pm

      You have quoted all white people who are born inherently racist and are predjudiced. All of their statues must be torn down, and their books and writings burned. We must go back to the beginning, which is 1619, and start over.

      Milhouse in reply to henrybowman. | April 3, 2022 at 9:10 am

      She is not required to agree with any of those people.

    henrybowman in reply to Guardian79. | April 2, 2022 at 5:21 pm

    A person with her incredibly limited experience has had no time to develop true wisdom. The game here is to get the youngest radical leftist on the bench they can, so she will be there a long, long time. That serves partisan aims well, but serves the country as a whole extremely badly.

      Peabody in reply to henrybowman. | April 2, 2022 at 5:35 pm

      You look for person who ticks off all the boxes on the pre-determined minority/particular race/female crteria and this is what you get.

      You could double her age and IMO she will never develop “true wisdom”. Indeed, being 6 years older, Kamala might have been a less dangerous choice.

Her answer on the question of ‘woman’ was clearly intended to avoid offense to pushers of the trans regime. But this answer — to whom, to what group(s) is it kowtowing? Pretty scary to think about.

But of course I’m only concerned about any of this because I’m racist. (eye roll)

henrybowman | April 2, 2022 at 5:11 pm

“On the one hand, the Declaration of Independence is not the Constitution”

The Declaration of Independence is the defining document of basic American philosophy, our country’s “goal statement.” The Constitution is merely its implementation instructions, its “operations manual.”

Question for KBJ: “If humans don’t have objective natural rights, how can we accuse any other country with ‘violating human rights?'”

    Milhouse in reply to henrybowman. | April 3, 2022 at 1:55 am

    It may be that, but it has no legal authority. Legal decisions must be based entirely on the constitution and the laws, not on the declaration.

      txvet2 in reply to Milhouse. | April 4, 2022 at 2:12 pm

      Well, except that she said (according to your quote above): “” “I’m looking at original documents. I am focusing on the original public meaning because I am constrained to interpret the text.” “” It would seem that the Declaration would fit the bill.

Well, she is a Democrat.

The fact that a being black (ask a biologist) is the only “qualification” being presented for an appointment to a job that is required by our senators is all we need to know about our senators. The oath “…I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic;…” is no longer a requirement. Senators are now appointing blank slates with histories of being hostile to American values.

“So help us God.” We deserve what we are getting. Good job Cocaine Turtle!

What does she think that whole Bill of Rights thing is? After all, those are not rights that the constitution grants us, they are rights that are recognized and protected by it. Wouldn’t this completely nullify that oath she had to have sworn?

    alaskabob in reply to Ironclaw. | April 2, 2022 at 7:13 pm

    She is the most dangerous person to ever be considered. even Tanney knew what rights meant. That is why he was opposed to Blacks being included in rights….. why … he said that then Blacks had a right to arms. Back then even racist Dems knew more than she does.

    Milhouse in reply to Ironclaw. | April 3, 2022 at 1:59 am

    After all, those are not rights that the constitution grants us, they are rights that are recognized and protected by it.

    That is what it claims, but it’s not necessarily so. Legally it isn’t so. If there were no bill of rights there would be nothing preventing congress from making laws that violate those rights, and no basis on which any court could strike such laws down.

      txvet2 in reply to Milhouse. | April 4, 2022 at 3:30 pm

      Yeah, that’s what they said at the time, which is why they wrote the Bill of Rights, which was ratified along with the REST of the Constitution – unless you’re somehow arguing that the amendments aren’t actually part of the document.

Why couldn’t the south pick their own cotton?
Then Blacks who are here would want to be here

Liberal ideology. Pro-Choice “ethical” religion. Progressive Cult. Practices law at the Twilight Fringe: emanations from penumbras.

“Or are we supposed to believe this accomplished, intelligent woman literally has no idea where she stands on natural rights?”

Every school child in America knows where they stand on human rights with the possible exception of a kindergarten class in Florida which is still working out their gender.

    henrybowman in reply to Peabody. | April 2, 2022 at 5:56 pm

    How much smarter everyone in America was 50 years ago…

    Skipper: Ginger, I’ve got a problem… I’ve got a real problem… Now you’re a girl, right?
    Ginger: Well, if you’re not sure about that, you have got a problem!

Does not have a position on one of the fundamental questions of law?

I have to assume she was lying. The only reasonable motive for the lie was that she figured too many people would be offended by her actual position.

    Milhouse in reply to irv. | April 3, 2022 at 2:01 am

    It’s not a question of law, it’s one of philosophy.

      Arminius in reply to Milhouse. | April 4, 2022 at 7:30 pm

      Still a legitimate question since among supporting documents she provided along with her Senate Judicial Questionnaire was a document titled “Fairness in Federal Sentencing: An Examination” in which she wrote:

      ““I also try to convince my students that sentencing is just plain interesting on an intellectual level, in part because it melds together myriad types of law—criminal law, of course, but also administrative law, constitutional law, critical race theory, negotiations, and to some extent, even contracts. And if that’s not enough to prove to them that sentencing is a subject worth studying, I point out that sentencing policy implicates and intersects with various other intellectual disciplines as well, including philosophy, psychology, history, statistics, economics, and politics.”

      Note she considers CRT a type of law. It’s lumped in with the “myriad types of law,” sandwiched in between constitutional law, and negotiations (negotiations in law is a legal field as a form of alternative dispute resolution; some lawyers specialize in this field) and contact law. Pointedly it is not included in the “various other intellectual disciplines” among which is philosophy.

      She keeps claiming she has no judicial philosophy. She can’t simultaneously not have a judicial philosophy and incorporate philosophy into her coursework when she teaches her students about sentencing.

      She is simply a liar. If she incorporates philosophy into a coursework, she has a philosophy. If she incorporates philosophy into her sentencing decisions then it is by definition a judicial philosophy. She is simply refusing to give an honest answer as revealing her philosophical position on subject such as natural rights would torpedo her confirmation. As is her admission that she already believes CRT is a type of law on par with the Constitution when the two are diametrically opposed. CRT teaches that the Constitution is illegitimate because it is racist, written by white male slaveowners to maintain a system of white supremacy. You simply can’t hold both positions at the same time.

      Which is her true position. Considering she has said she’s an admirer of #BLM, and organization co-founded by Patrice Collor,s who has admitted that she and her fellow cofounder are “trained Marxists,” and that one of her inspirations is Derrick Bell, one of the lead thinkers (if you can call what he does thinking) behind CRT. He has stated that only through redistribution of wealth, aka socialism, can this shed systemic racism.

      All of CRT teaches that capitalism is racism and racism is capitalism. Ibram X. Kendi has a chapter on the subject in is book “How to be an Anti-Racist.” If you’re a capitalist, you’re a racist. To be an anti-racist you have be a Marxist. None of that is remotely compatible with the Constitution she’ll swear to serve, protect, and defend when, unfortunately not if, she’s sworn in having completed the Gramscian long march through the system to place herself in a position to destroy it.

      The thing is, she simply can’t help lying. For instance, she claims that Derrick Bell’s book, “Faces at the Bottom of the well,” was omnipresent in her home when she was growing up. Which is of course is impossible since Bell’s book wasn’t published until 1992 when she was 22 years old. I imagine one might claim that she still had a lot of growing up to do at 22 years of age, but there’s a problem. She was no longer living with her parents at their home in Miami. From 1992 to 1993 she was working at Time Magazine as a reporter and researcher in NYC and then in 1993 she went back to Harvard (Cambridge, MA) to get her law degree. Following law school her bio reveals she never lived in Miami again. Her career confined her to the Northeast and Washington D.C.

      This is on par with Kamala Harris claiming she smoked pot in college while listening to Tupac and Snoop Dogg. The problem of course is that she was already out of college, out of law school, and had already been admitted to the Kali bar before either one issued their debut albums.

      KBJ incorporated a philosophy in her coursework. She incorporated her philosophy when making judicial decisions regarding sentencing (along with a number of other sketchy subjects such as economics and history; sketchy because no doubt she went to the same school of economics as AOC and history as taught by Howard Zinn and Nicole Hannah-Jones). Therefore she has a judicial philosophy if that philosophy informs her judicial positions. But now she contradicts herself and claims not to have a judicial philosophy when she has stated in writing that she does.

      People she has stated publicly as her inspirations are all anti-American Marxists. Yes, some originalist we have here. To state the obvious she is simply lying through her teeth to get a life-time appointment to a position of power. Which is something all Marxists do.

She will be the first CRT Marxist on the Supreme Court.

Cruz should have asked her where rights come from.

    “Do you believe that all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights?”

    “How would I know? I’m not a theologian.”

That’s like having no position on beheading.

    Peabody in reply to Sally MJ. | April 2, 2022 at 7:47 pm

    That’s like a person interviewing for a position as executioner having no position on beheading whose job it will be to behead people.

      Arminius in reply to Peabody. | April 2, 2022 at 10:45 pm

      Actually it’s worse. Most people who got the job of executioner had no experience at hacking people’s heads off. At least in Europe, although I have evidence the Japanese were no better whacking people’s heads off a couple of generations into the enforced peace of the Tokugawa period. Which is why the French adopted (they didn’t invent it) the guillotine.

      People aren’t really good at executing other people. That’s why where execution by firing squad is legal (in a growing number of states, thank God) one rifleman is given a blank. So all executioners can convince themselves they didn’t fire the killing round.

      In fact, in Japan the job of executioner was so despised only the untouchables of their caste syste would take the job. Which actually made the Burakumin (the untouchables in the Japanese caste system) rich, as they had a literal monopoly on jobs like executioner. leather tanner (Shudder! Working with dead animal hides which BTW the higher castes needed for their armor) and so forth. If any trade was considered kegare (a defilement) only the untouchables could do it, but the higher castes needed them to do it, so it became a hereditary right.

      How good do you think the Burakumin were at being beheaders, when only the Samurai were allowed to carry and practice with swords? They got rich at being lousy at their jobs. It takes a machine, or lethal injection, to get it right.

        Peabody in reply to Arminius. | April 2, 2022 at 11:14 pm

        Nice essay. You’ve got a lot of knowledge about Japan.

          Arminius in reply to Peabody. | April 3, 2022 at 3:53 am

          I’m thinking of writing a book. About the personal wars that were won and lost in the Solomon Island campaigns. You personally might never have been defeated. Yet you’re told to lay down your arms. Y

          ou personally might have been a POW. Yet after losing your personal war you’re told you won.


          Oh. OK. There are a lot of dead Marines on Guadalcanal. There are many times more dead Sailors off Guadalcanal. I have an idea! Let’s just piss it all away.

          Peabody in reply to Peabody. | April 3, 2022 at 9:14 pm

          Thanks for insight.

          Arminius in reply to Peabody. | April 4, 2022 at 3:17 am

          I should know quite a bit about Japan. I was stationed there for seven years and I still read and speak Japanese (I understand the county courts will certify interpreters so I’m brushing up; they undoubtedly have more Spanish speakers than they know what to do with but Japanese interpreters must be few and far between, and if the court certifies me then I can work anywhere where there might be a need such as hospitals).

          I played rugby for a Japanese company’s club team, moved off base at my earliest opportunity, and spent hours at an izakaya across the street from my apartment. An izakaya is sort of Japan’s version of a Spanish Tapas bar, except instead of small plates of food made to pair well with wine and izakaya prepares food that goes well with Sake. I’d study a chapter in one of my textbooks, then walk across the street and put what I just learned with the very friendly people sitting at the counter who were surprised and delighted a white gaijin (foreigner) was taking the trouble to learn their language (and read the menu).

          The Japanese people are very friendly, I found, if you can speak Japanese. Or if they can speak English. The English speakers go out their way to help you navigate the subway if you seem lost. At least in the vast urban sprawl that is the Tokyo/Yokohama/Yokosuka area. Outside of that metropolitan area I had amusing incidents where I’d ask Japanese people for directions to a landmark where I was to meet friends. In Japanese. And they’d wave their hands in front of their faces and say in heavily accented English, “No speak English.” I’d point out I was speaking Japanese and get the same response.

          The Japanese tend not to be very confident, So these people at the train stations were afraid I’d run out of Japanese, they’d be forced to speak English, and it would be very embarrassing and awkward and they wouldn’t be able to deal with it. The lack of confidence comes for the fact that they’re raised from early childhood to believe that no matter what they achieve, their achievement actually belongs to someone else such as their parents or their teachers. So it’s their parents and teachers who deserve the credit for what other nationalities would consider the student’s achievement. It’s also why Japan has such a high teenage suicide rate. If they fail to perform up to their parents’ expectations they’re letting the whole family down. It’s very oppressive; anything good they do is to someone else’s credit. Any failure is entirely their fault.

          A few other quirks I noticed about the Japanese system of education. First, to be considered literate in Japan students are expected to know 2136 Kanji (Chinese ideograms) when they graduate from High School. That isn’t enough to read some articles in newspapers. Very literate people might know 5 – 6,000 of these characters. Nobody knows how many such ideograms exist in the Japanese language as different Kanj from different parts of China from different eras were imported into Japanese, plus the Japanese invented some ideograms of their own. So it’s impossible to know just how many characters exist; somewhere north of 40,000 is an agreed number.

          This is why manga is so popular in Japan. The vast majority of them just know the bare minimum (and that was less than 2,000 when I was there, but the Ministry of Education added more kanji in 2010). Only the very literate people can read a newspaper. The rest have to read something while commuting to and from work on the trains. They read manga.

          I was also surprised to find I knew more about Japanese history than they did. Because the schools don’t teach all of it. If it’s unpleasant then it’s not in their history textbooks. Their teachers in elementary through high school may know, but they’re not talking. So while I know that after the Meiji restoration all things Western started becoming fashionable, while things Japanese were sneered at as old-fashioned. So much so that by the 1920s young people in Tokyo were almost universally dressing in Western clothes, going to clubs and listening to jazz, drinking gin and whiskey instead of sake, etc. But then the nationalists came to power primarily through assassination and intimidation of their political rivals. Then they decided to purge Japanese culture of all these Western “pollutants.” Then came WWII.

          Most Japanese don’t know any of this. The history texts generally gloss over the entire decade of the 1940s with something like this:

          “So the 1940s came along and a lot of bad things happened and, boy, a lot of people hate us now for some reason. So let’s talk about the economic miracle of the 1950s.”

          I would know more about Japanese history going back to pre-feudal Japan. Again, it’s not a subject they’re taught, and if fact it seems to be discouraged. I can’t tell you how many Japanese tourists find out about WWII for the first time in their lives when they visit the Pearl Harbor memorial. “America and Japan really fought a war against each other?” they’d ask me. I told him it was true. Their next question invariably was, “Who won?” Not an illogical question given all the signs at the tourist traps in Waikiki are written in Japanese. Unfortunately the Hiroshima memorial commemorates the fact that the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb in history but never mentions there was a war going on at the time. So a lot of Japanese leave the memorial scratching their heads wondering, “So the Americans just sent a warplane over Hiroshima one sunny August day and destroyed the city. Why the hell did they do that?”

          Geography is another subject they don’t seem to teach. I read an interesting book about how other Asians see modern Japanese. For instance, retailers in Singapore stumped that when they reduced prices their sales went down. Then they found out Japanese tourists loved to brag about how much they paid for their clothing, jewelry, etc., as souvenirs from their vacations. So they hiked their prices and sales were booming. But the geography portion had me laughing out loud. The author visited a resort owner on the island of Mindanao to find out how he was so successful in attracting so many Japanese tourists at a time when Japanese were avoiding the Philippines due to increased terrorist activity.
          The resort owner told, “That’s easy. They don’t know they’re in the Philippines.”

          None of his advertising in Japan ever mentioned the word Philippines. It was all about his wonderful, luxurious resort on beautiful Mindanao. The author went to talk to some of the Japanese resort guests. Sure enough, they had no clue they were in the Philippines (and the author didn’t spoil their vacations by pointing out that Mindanao is a Philippine island). One comment was just two perfect. A couple told the author, “We’re so glad we decided to vacation in Mindanao instead of the Philippines.”

          As much as I loved Japan and the Japanese people, I never forgot why I was there. One of my duties when I was on the staff of Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Japan was intelligence liaison with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). Those guys knew their history; they teach it at the university level and at their naval and military academies. I worked in a SCIF so when we hosted the meeting we had to sanitize the spaces. Lock up any classified papers that we wouldn’t be sharing with our Japanese counterparts and turn off our desktop computers.

          I always made sure my screensaver was on:

          Two Douglass SBD Dauntless diver bombers over a burning Japanese carrier at the Battle of Midway.

All the questions about innumerable rights make sense

I’m waiting for this fool to get on the Supreme Court and slap someone.

The fact is that natural rights is not a universally-held philosophy. Many respectable people disagree with it, and the religious test clause means nobody appointed to public office can be required to agree with it.

Even an originalist judge may say “I don’t know whether natural rights theory is correct, but the constitution was written by people who did believe in it, so when interpreting it one must take that belief of theirs into account. Likewise they were all Christian, so even a non-Christian judge must take that into account when figuring out what they meant.”

SCOTUS is losing status with these left wing judges that ignore the law in favor of activism. Keep it up and the court will be ignored too.

It should discount her nomination righth there and now.
But as a CRT Marxist so she won’t admit to her rights are only from government, and are we granted and taken away by them alone.

Do you hear that Susan Collins?!
Have a backbone and vote “NO” and save our Republic.

    Milhouse in reply to lc. | April 3, 2022 at 9:19 am

    Her voting no will not achieve anything unless at least one Democrat votes no as well.

    And I don’t know whether Collins agrees with the natural rights theory either. She doesn’t have to, and many respectable people don’t.

    As the Supreme Court said in 1950, the first amendment “presupposes that there are no orthodoxies — religious, political, economic, or scientific — which are immune from debate and dispute.”

I say she hasn’t any idea what a “natural right” is., and i’s an ironic thing, as a black justice arising to that status as a supposed civil rights pioneer.

    Milhouse in reply to maxmillion. | April 3, 2022 at 11:34 am

    She knows perfectly well what the theory of natural rights says. She explained it perfectly in the answer immediately preceding the one we’re discussing. She just doesn’t know whether she agrees with it. She is not required to agree with it. Many people don’t.

      Arminius in reply to Milhouse. | April 4, 2022 at 8:11 am

      She did not answer the question. The question from Sen. Cruz was:

      “Please explain, in your own words, the theory prevalent among members of the Founding Fathers’ generation that humans possess Natural Rights that are inherent or inalienable,”

      She dodged the question by simply saying where it was found in the declaration and then quoting the declaration. Unless she wrote the Declaration of Independence those are not her words and she deliberately dodged the question with this non-responsive non answer.

      Frankly, if you’re not a leftist shill why are you sticking up for this clear liar. Of course she knows what a woman is and you don’t need to be a biologist. In fact the central principal of Critical Social Justice (Critical Race Theory is not the only evil spawn of generic Communist Critical Theory; it includes Critical Feminist Theory as well as this garbage) is Queer theory. Which isn’t necessarily intended to turn school kids gay or trans although many predators intend exactly that. Just as when asked why he robbed banks, depression era bank robber Willie Sutton answered “Because that’s where the money is” pedophiles go where the children are. Schools have more than their fair share. The numbers dwarf anything the Catholic church is accused of covering up. And the schools and the unions protect these pedophiles. A teacher in North Carolina was arrested for masturbating in front of his class. Fun fact: it was this guys second offense; he was simply transferred from one school to another. Disney also has more than its fair share of pedophiles and Disney also protects them. In one case a worker on a cruise ship was caught on security cameras sexually assaulting an 11 year old girl. The captain made sure to wait until after he put out of port and were well on their way before reporting it so the perv could evade arrest.

      And KBJ also protected child predators in the form of child pornography consumers and Child pornographers and distributors. Which makes it an obvious lie that she’s an originalist. Yes she mouthed these words:

      “’I’m looking at original documents. I am focusing on the original public meaning because I am constrained to interpret the text.’ She was asked if there is a living Constitution? Judge Jackson said, ‘I do not believe that there is such a thing as a living constitution.’”

      Funny how she’s never been constrained by the clear text of the Federal mandatory minimum sentencing laws. They’re not complicated, they’re only a couple of decades old so the original public meaning of the text hasn’t changed, and the legislative intent is clear as a bell. When a person commits x sexual offense involving children the felon goes to prison for x amount of time. These are made mandatory precisely because leftist judges judges were not taking these crimes seriously. And being federal laws, these mandatory minimums are the law of the land. And KBJ breezily ignores them because she claims technology has made them obsolete.

      Ignoring the fact that it is not within a judge’s authority to declare laws obsolete, this is precisely the argument leftist activists like KBJ make about the Constitution. That a document written in the late 19th century can’t possibly be relevant to the 21st century and part of their argument is that technology has made it obsolete. They argue that the 2nd Amendment maybe made sense when the only long arms were single shot muskets but the framers couldn’t possibly have imagined AR-15s.

      First of all, that’s a lie. The founders were keenly aware of advancing military technology, including rapid fire powerful air rifles. Royalty had been using windbuchsen, or wind rifles for hunting since at least 1644 according to one text and no doubt longer. In the 1770s an Italian inventor in Vienna finally worked out the bugs that turned what was once a plaything for nobility into a practical military weapon. The Austrian army adopted it in 1780 but 7 years before the Constitution was ratified. Of course the founders knew about these developments. There were well traveled Americans before the revolution who would have been aware of just how popular these windbuchsen before the revolution and American ambassadors to Europe during and after the war. It was their job to keep track to advances in European military matters. In fact, most gunmakers in the U.S. immigrated from Germany. The most imported rifles in the U.S. was the German-made Jaeger rifle. It was unsuitable for American conditions so the tinkered with it until they developed it into the Pennsylvania/Kentucky long rifles. And of course these German smiths would have been aware of the windbuchsen. Aware, but they would never have thought it was suitable for American conditions than their Jaegers had proved to be. A rifle at the time fit only for European royalty was not what an American frontiersman wanted or needed.

      In fact surplused Girandoni, or the nearly identical commercial model, had reached our shores by the late 18th century. Nobody ever thought that the availability of a rifle that could fire 22 lead balls as fast as you could pull the trigger meant the 2nd Amendment was obsolete. In fact with the standard kit of 3 air reservoirs that provided enough power to fire 30-40 shots at useful ranges and enough full ammunition tubes that allowed the rifleman to rapidly reload the side-mounted gravity fed magazine a rifleman could fire 90 – 120 shots within a couple of minutes.

      Thomas Jefferson made sure that Lewis and Clarke’s core of discovery was equipped with a Girandoni air rifle for their 1804 expedition. It was widely reported; in fact upon their return Lewis and Clarke reported that the Indians found the Girandoni was the most impressive piece of gear they had with them. In addition to giving gifts to any bands they came across they always gave “friendly” shooting demonstrations. So of course the warriors in the tribes they met wouldn’t be too eager to try to raid the small band.

      Most of the people who had ratified the Constitution including the 2nd Amendment thought, “Holy crap, when we wrote the 2nd Amendment we only meant to protect single shot muskets. Here’s a rifle that can fire 22 rounds in less than a minute. We better repeal it.” No, they meant arms, the Girandoni was an arm, and as far as everyone was concerned it was just fine.

      So it’s a leftist lie, just like the left branding a non-existent bill the “Don’t say gay” bill. Non-existent because there’s never been a bill Leftist have to lie to get what they want because if they told the truth. It is her actions that tell the tale. She has no trouble admitting she’ll ignore the plain text of laws she doesn’t like and disagrees with and finds obsolete.

      That will be her approach to the Constitution. Another tell was her answer about a living Constitution. She framed her answer exactly as Elena Kagan did when asked during her confirmation hearings to become solicitor general. She was asked if there is a federal Constitutional right to same sex marriage.

      She responded, “There is no federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage.”

      True. At that moment in time, as she was sitting before the Senate Judiciary committee trying to get confirmed no such right existed.

      But there sure was just as soon as Kagan was confirmed as an associate justice on the Supreme Court.

      Now KBJ’s answer to the question about a living Constitution.

      “I do not believe that there is such a thing as a living constitution.”

      Which of course means that at this moment in time, as she’s sitting before the Senate Judiciary Committee she does not believe at present there is such a thing as a living Constitution. But there will be just as she’s in the position of power to make sure it happens.

      KBJ has supplied enough evidence in her oral testimony, written testimony, and answers and supporting documentation to her Senate Judicial Questionnaire to condemn her as a domestic enemy of the Constitution. For instance, as a law professor she stated in one of documents she provided the committee, “Fairness in Federal Sentencing: An Examination,” she wrote:

      “I also try to convince my students that sentencing is just plain interesting on an intellectual level, in part because it melds together myriad types of law—criminal law, of course, but also administrative law, constitutional law, critical race theory, negotiations, and to some extent, even contracts. And if that’s not enough to prove to them that sentencing is a subject worth studying, I point out that sentencing policy implicates and intersects with various other intellectual disciplines as well, including philosophy, psychology, history, statistics, economics, and politics.

      Note she lumps CRT in with other “myriad types of law” on par with the Constitution. So while the sentencing guidelines can be ignored because while black letter law they’re obsolete, the Constitution will be ignored when it conflicts with CRT because not only is it too is obsolete but it is illegitimate as it was written by white slaveholders to preserve slavery as part of system of white supremacy. That’s what CRT teaches, and that’s the “history” that is the Marxist packed lie-filled 1619 that KBJ has stated she’s such a fan of.

      All Critical Theories descend from one source; Horkheimer’s 1937 essay, “Traditional Theory and Critical Theory.” Critical Theory is the opposite of Traditional Theory; Critical Theory seeks to understand bourgeois capital societies but for purposes of delegitimizing everything about them in order to destroy them and bring about the glorious revolution. They devolved into various sub-theories tailored to destroy America specifically as the American Marxists better understood American society. Critical Race theorists differed from classical Masxists who argued that capitalism is oppressive because the ruling capitalists oppress the proletariat working class. No, the CRT enthusiasts argue, capitalism is oppressive because it’s racist. No, the Critical Feminist theorists claim capitalism is oppressive because it’s patriarchal and enslaves women. Critical Social Justice theorists argue that capitalism is oppressive because it doesn’t lead to “equitable” outcomes. Only socialism can provide equitable outcomes; just listen to AOC spout off about capitalism as the pursuit of profit at the expense of people. And of course queer theory is a core component of Critical Social Justice because Bourgeois gender and sexual norms are oppressive. And kids learn that from their parents. All Marxists going back to Engels and Marx himself oppose the nuclear family and agree it must be destroyed. As Mussolini said (and he was a devout communist until he was kicked out for supporting Italy entering WWI on the side of the allies) everything for the state, everything within the state, nothing outside the state. The family is outside the state, and therefore can’t be tolerated. Queer theory isn’t necessarily intended to turn kids gay or trans (that’s just a nice side effect for the pedos attracted to teaching since it gives them access to children). It’s designed to turn them into little revolutionaries and against their parents.

      It’s simply impossible to swear a true oath to a Constitution if you believe it’s an evil document “weaved with white supremacy” as Biden’s choice for UN ambassador said. All these critical theories are dedicated to it’s destruction, as they are dedicated to the destruction of our history and replacing our founding documents, or system of government, and our economic system. Just read what Ibram X. Kendi writes and says about capitalism.

      This is who we’re getting as a Supreme Court Justice. It’s why she won’t answer questions. Of course she won’t define what a woman is. That would upset her Queer theorist friends (and queer theory is deeply embedded in the curriculum taught at the Georgetown Day School where she’s on the board of trustees. Of course she claims not to hold a position on natural rights. Everything she embraces is hostile to natural rights. It all fits, and I can’t understand why anyone would defend her.

It is my understanding we only have three rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The Bill of Rights only expand on those basic rights. We do not have the right to food, housing, medical care, etc. We have the right to strive for those things. You cannot have a right that requires its fulfillment be supplied by the labors of another – that would be slavery to the person supplying that right.

    Milhouse in reply to oldvet50. | April 3, 2022 at 11:38 am

    It is my understanding we only have three rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    That is not true at all, and I don’t know of anyone who claims so. Certainly the Declaration of Independence does not.

    The Bill of Rights only expand on those basic rights.

    The Bill of Rights includes rights that do not derive in any way from those, and rights that did not exist before it and would not exist without it, The 7th amendment, for instance, protects no “natural right”. And in fact for that reason it has not been incorporated into the 14th amendment, and thus does not bind the states.

henrybowman | April 3, 2022 at 5:42 pm

Pork this.

I just commandeered* the website of the Action Network in order to send the following message to my Senators. I suggest you do the same.

Ketanji Brown Jackson is 100% unacceptable for our nation’s highest court.

Thomas Jefferson: A free people [claim] their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate.

Benjamin Franklin: Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.

John F. Kennedy: The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.

Ketanji Brown Jackson: I do not hold a position on whether individuals possess natural rights.

This woman does not belong within arm’s length of any binding decision on any person’s rights, much less those of everyone in the United States. Her stance is unacceptable and un-American.

You should vote to reject Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

Thank you.

*Most activism websites are clueful enough to “can” at least a portion of the emailed text, or the subject, so that you can’t subvert their mailer to advocate a position opposed to theirs. These guys weren’t that savvy… though I suspect they will be by next month.

Steven Brizel | April 3, 2022 at 8:35 pm

The left abhorred the idea of unalienable human natural rights