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Landmark Rulings At The Supreme Court – What It All Means: You have most certainly heard of at least one of the recent landmark decisions from our highest court in the land. But, have you heard about them all? What do they mean for us moving forward? What should we be focussing on in the days ahead? Tune in for an enlightening broadcast!

Air Date: 06/28/2022

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith and the Culture

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live. We are taking on the hot topics of the day from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective.

And specifically, the hot topics of today have to do with Supreme Court decisions handed down in the last few days that are significant. And when I say significant, I mean, in Donald Trump’s best voice, huge! These are massive decisions. And you see the response all over the country, people are talking about it, the Left is going crazy because it’s major issues that they were able to dominate only through the court, not through legislative bodies, not through Congress, but through the courts. 

And so now those things have been taken away from them. The Supreme Court is going back to the actual Constitution and back to federalism. So it’s very, very good news. We’re going to be talking about that.

I’m Rick Green, America’s constitution coach and a former Texas legislator. And I am here with Tim Barton, he’s a national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. And David Barton, he’s America’s premier historian and our founder here at WallBuilders.

Alright, David and Tim, so much to celebrate; this should be a Good News Friday, but it’s going to be good news, what is this Tuesday, we got Good News Tuesday because of all of these great decisions coming down from the court. I mean, talking about landmark decision, that word is probably been overused with Supreme Court decisions in the past. These are tectonic decisions. I mean, these are massive.

And David, you wrote about these things decades ago and original intent. You called out these crazy legal theories that were created by the court, the lemon test, and all these other things. I think Clarence Thomas and Sam Alito just squeezed the last little bit of juice from the lemon test, it’s gone. 

Second Amendment

I mean, there’s so many good things here from Second Amendment restoration rights for those eight states that are may issue states to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and sending abortion back to the States to the restoration of religious liberty so that you can actually live out your faith and not be fired for it, and so many other decisions.

So guys, this is just a great time to celebrate, I hope people at home realize this should give them hope to realize, after years and years of hard work, so much of that work in the prolife movement, and so many other areas is paying off right here.

David:

So we’ll talk about each of the cases more in detail and ramifications, what it really means to the culture. But just in the last few days, as you mentioned, Rick, we’ve had the big Second Amendment decision that they came down written by Justice Thomas, where the Second Amendment has now been validated, even stronger than it had been. We’d gone a century and a half essentially having those Second Amendment cases. And now since 2010, we’ve had some major ones, including this one. So that’s a big win.

A big case everybody was waiting for was what the courts going to do with abortion. And the court did not overturn abortion, but it overturned federal mandates of abortion. And so now they’ve thrown it back to the states for the states to have that. So for the first time, you don’t have to change all the nations to start ending abortions, you can start doing it state by state, community by community. So that’s a really big win as well.

The court also handed down a 6-3 victory in a religious liberty case, it’s the first case the court has dealt with on the rights of a school employee, a teacher, a specifically a football coach in Washington to be able to express faith while engaged and employed in school activities. Can you do that in school activities? The court said 6-3, yes, you can. 

Free Speech

They gave a big win 8-1 win over a couple of guys in Georgia who were trying to share their faith on a campus. They’re in Georgia, Gwinnett College and the college said, well, you can’t do that. And they said, well, you can only do it if you stand in the free speech zones, tiny little zones. They stood in the college again said, well, you can’t do that either.

And so these guys went all the way to the lower courts and said, well, you can’t sue, because you’re out of college now, so the issue is moot. And the Supreme Court said, no, your rights aren’t moot just because you’re out of college. And by the way, there should be some serious payment for the violation of those rights. 

So that’s a really big win. And then the court took an educational case, where they said if you’re going to be the state of Maine, and you’re going to say that you’re going to have educational scholarships, you can’t say that and eliminate religious schools and homeschools, etc. If you’re going to say you’re doing a scholarship for kids, it’s for kids. And that doesn’t matter what school there in, charter schools, home schools, Christian schools, private schools, parochial schools, public schools, that money goes everywhere.

And so, those are five really, really, really huge cases. And they all are going to be things that are really kind of body shots to the system. The big thing is abortion get it out of federal hands. Well, now the abortion battle starts at the state level. And the thing about well teachers can express their faith and public. Well how much? How much can you express in public? And can a teacher now start reading the Bible in the classroom? We don’t know. That’s going to be battles to be fought. But at least we have an open door to start walking through some of this stuff, the same with education in schools.

So we now have opened doors to start taking back some of the culture that we have not, it’s been off limits for 60 years. And now the stuff is back on the table. And that’s really big stuff.

14th Amendment

Rick:

Yeah, I don’t know, David, this feels like literally the pulling down of strongholds, legal strongholds, cultural strongholds that are almost like the false idols of the Old Testament. And the king has come in Josiah or Hezekiah, or whichever we want to use as an example and said, enough, we’re taking those things apart. These are significant, significant constitutional rights that have been trampled for decades, and are now being restored.

We’ve always said, we don’t want the court to make law. And I think as I read these opinions, I think they’re saying the same thing. They’re saying we shouldn’t be making law. Some of these things should have been left to the states and we’re getting out of the way. Some of these things, the 14th Amendment does give the federal government the ability and the responsibility to protect your right, for instance, to keep in bear arms. 

And so we are stepping in on that or your freedom of religion. But man, I feel like these are so huge. I didn’t think some of these would happen in my lifetime, to be honest with you guys. I mean, it feels almost surreal to read these decisions.

David:

Yeah, it is surreal. And they’re significant in many ways because even in the Dobbs decision, which is the abortion decision, well, the federal courts did not overturn abortion, they just said the Fed should never been involved in this. It was a mistake for us to get involved with Roe v. Wade, and Planned Parenthood and Casey, we should not have gotten involved.

And then what I think is really super significant in that case is what Justice Thomas did. He wrote that concurring opinion, and he said, yeah, we never should have gotten involved in abortion. You know what? We never should have gotten involved in the marriage decision. So the Obergefell decision where you had 31-32 states that had voted that in their states marriage is between a man and a woman. That’s how the state defined marriage. He said, we never should have gotten involved in that. You guys need to bring those cases back to us, let us look at it again.

Justice Scalia

And he said, and while we’re at it, Texas had a law that said homosexuality was illegal. That’s not federal business. That belongs to the states. Bring those cases back, and allows Texas case, and the Baker case from before that in Texas, and then he said, while we’re on it, Connecticut Griswold own birth control. That’s not a federal issue. That belongs at the states. And so what he has done is he essentially has said, hey, the Supreme Court is open for all these cases to come back to us so that we have opportunity to overturn them.

Now why I think that’s significant, I think he learned this from Justice Scalia, it was years ago. Justice Scalia had this thing where that even if he saw a chance to change something in the court, if he did not have five votes, he would actually vote against taking that case at the court. Now, it only takes four Justices to hear a case of the court. It takes five to win the case before to hear it. 

And Justice Scalia recognize that, let’s say we take a school prayer case, it comes to the court and four of us vote to hear it, but we lose it 5-4, we’re on the wrong side. He said we have just given a brand new precedent to something that’s really bad, which is going to keep it alive for decades more.

So he got to the point where he said I don’t want to take a case unless we have a chance of overturning it. And Justice Thomas, I don’t think would have raised those issues if he didn’t believe they had five votes on the court to be able to handle that stuff. I don’t think he’s inviting cases that would get overturned again and extend bad precedent further.

Tim:

Well, and guys, this is what we’ve seen, which is so exciting from some of these cases, is we’re really looking at 6-3 decisions. And even if it’s something 6-3 decisions, Chief Justice Roberts has said some things that aren’t the most encouraging where you still see that he’s kind of the weak guy on some of these issues, nonetheless, it’s incredible we’re getting 6-3 decisions.

6-3 Decisions

And so why would Thomas think they might get at least five? Well, we’re getting at least six on a lot of these issues. And some even more than that depending on what the case was.

But on some of these very considered to be controversial cases, there’s 6-3 cases. And as we look back, I think this is going to be one of the biggest things and the legacy of Trump and of course, 2024 could shift and change some of what that remembered the legacy might be if President Trump gets back in and has another four years, which is definitely a possibility. And it could shape a lot more of his legacy.

But right now, when you look at the Godsend that Trump was for helping get those Justice there when so many people who, like us Christians, were really not sure about where Trump was going to be and where he’s going to land, the thing that led a lot of us in voting for him was knowing that he was going to be a much better choice to appoint Supreme Court Justice than was Hillary Clinton. 

And we’ve talked many times on Good News Friday and other programs none of us really would have thought, guessed or expected the level of judges we got from Donald Trump on all kinds of levels, Supreme Court, federal, etc. This is an indication of, man, such an answer to prayer on a lot of levels, but really a reflection on the Trump administration as well, which certainly is a value to the legacy of what Trump has done for America.

Rick:

Yeah. And I think it has to be recognized. And Tim, I’m so glad you brought that up because without Trump winning in 2016, we would be in the exact opposite position. We would have probably ended up with a decision that said, you can have abortion up until birth and forcing that on all 50 states.

The Hypocricy

So reversing all those prolife bills we got passed, we would be taking away the right to keep and bear arms, we would be telling Joe Kennedy, he was fired and had to stay fired and not allowed to pray on the football field by himself. I mean, it would be the exact opposite. So what an incredible legacy.

And who knows how far this goes, guys? I mean, how many years of great decisions we’re going to get. And I got to ask you all. I mean, didn’t you chuckle a little bit when you heard some of the speeches over the weekend, where now all of a sudden, the governor of New York and others are saying, we don’t think the court should be making law for everybody, we don’t want the court making decisions for us? 

These were the same people that were heralding the court for the last 50 years. So it’s kind of fun to finally see them say, we don’t want these decisions coming from the court and the states need to say no. You’re going wait a minute, these are the same people?

Tim:

Well, the great irony, even in the midst of that, is certainly, Rick, you’re mentioning where people are now are wanting to have some level of state sovereignty and limits on the Supreme Court. But equally, were when the Dobbs decision came down, and they said Roe v. Wade is overturned, and all of a sudden, you had all of these people, all these leftists and liberals saying, hey, it’s my body, my choice, and we’re like, where were you on the vaccine mandates, right? Like, this is the exact the literal same argument you were using the same reasoning things we were saying for a long time.

Now, certainly, this is a very different issue, and this one we’re actually talking about an unborn life, the right to life that is very arguably one of the constitutional definitive protected unalienable rights that the Founding Fathers identified. With that being said, abortion is not the Constitution. However, it’s the same argument, which is your point where you now have leftist saying that the court is too powerful, and they shouldn’t be able to do this. 

Constitutional Rights?

Well, the same thing where people saying it’s my body, my choice, nobody should tell me what to do with my body. And we recognize, an unborn child, that is actually a separate body. That is not the mother’s body you’re referring to in that moment.

But the irony of the argument that the irony is they don’t even see the inconsistency and the argument they’re making when this shouldn’t be so obvious and apparent to anyone paying attention. It is rather humorous to see the outcries and the way they’re framing some of these arguments.

David:

You know, the other ironic thing that came down with all these decisions, particularly at the Dobbs decision on abortion, is all of a sudden they became constitutional scholars, they overturned the constitutional right to abortion. No, they didn’t. They overturned a judicial activist decision because that activist decision was not based on the Constitution. 

Nothing in the Constitution says this. Overturning that decision, they quoted the Constitution. And now you’re saying that they’re overturning a constitutional right to abortion.

It is so weird to see what they consider a constitutional right. And it’s really a pretty open acknowledgement that their constitution is not the written one, it’s not what’s in black and white, it’s whatever a Justice says that agrees with what they agree with. That’s the constitution. 

So I don’t think I’ve heard so much constitution rhetoric from them with so little substance, at the same time, have no clue what they’re talking about. But they sure like to throw that term around.

Staying the Course

Rick:

You know, as we’re going to break, guys, I just want to point out decades in the making, right. So many people in the trenches for so long, this should be an encouragement to everyone out there, in whatever political battle or cultural thing you’re fighting for, don’t give up.

This is like our John Quincy Adams moment here, where after years and years and years. I mean, you think about Thomas toiling in the minority for 31 years. How many times was he on the losing end? How many opinions that he writes that were the minority opinion? Sam Alito, same thing, 16 years of that, and they laid so much groundwork throughout those years.

And like you said, David, I mean, really go back to the Constitution while these other people, it’s all made up stuff. But Clarence Thomas is essentially saying he’s taking some really good shots here at stary decisis and saying, we’re not going to leave Supreme Court decisions in place just because the Supreme Court said it, otherwise Dred Scott would still be the law of the land, and this substantive due process stuff. 

I mean, he’s going after all of those made up legal theories that the court used to create the right to abortion and all these other things. So these are big, big decisions that are going to have ramifications for years to come. It is a time to celebrate the Constitution itself and federalism being restored. We’re going to take a quick break, we’ll be back in a moment. Stay with us, folks, you Listening to WallBuilders Live.

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Rick:

We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us on this glorious day, glorious week that we are celebrating all of these fantastic decisions from the Supreme Court. And for anybody out there that’s thinking about writing in and saying, well, you all didn’t want the court making law in the past, now you like it because they’re making law that you like. 

No, we like it, because they’re not making law. That’s what we’re celebrating. They’re actually upholding the Constitution, giving things back to the states and enforcing constitutional provisions. That’s what we’re celebrating today. So guys, we got so many good ones. Which one do you all want to dive into?

27 States

David:

Let’s go to the Dobbs case because I think there’s a good lesson here. This is the abortion case. While we celebrate and rejoice that the Supreme Court got rid of Roe v. Wade, the battle over abortion is just starting literally. It’s now coming to the state level. And while we think there are 27 states that will eventually end abortion, they’re still battle in those states. 

And those states that don’t have a trigger law and a trigger law says if Roe v. Wade is ever overturned like it was with the Dobbs decision than our state is going to not allow abortions. Texas added trigger law, a few states did. A lot of them did not have trigger laws. Some of them like Mississippi, they had pushed to the 15 week limit and said no abortions after 15 weeks because they thought that’s what they could get through the court. They want to go a lot lower.

But now for Mississippi to get back to no abortions at all, you better believe that all the national funds and national money and national groups are going to come pouring into Mississippi, pouring into Arkansas or whatever state it is, you’re going to see the battles go at the state level now. And instead of having one battle at the federal level, you’re going to have 50 battlegrounds now. 

And even in Texas where we have to trigger law, guarantee you, the Left is going to pull in here and try to get that reverse, they’re kind of tried to get a new law passed that lifts that trigger law. So this is really the start of the battle. But these are much more winnable battles than the federal battle is.

Rick:

That’s right. Now we’re not fighting for a president every four years that can appoint Justices that might 10 years from now do something. Now the battle is immediate. Who gets elected to your legislature this November is going to have a huge impact on those prolife bills.

James Wilson

Tim:

Well, and one thing too, guys, in the midst of this, we’ve talked a lot about it, even on the radio program we’ve talked about it, where the Founding Fathers position really did protect the unborn child, where the Founding Fathers identified that the right of life, when the Founding Fathers talked about the first and the inalienable rights was the right to life, that right to life did apply to an unborn child, and that unborn child…

James Wilson, one of the signers of the Declaration, signers of the Constitution, original Supreme Court justice, when America is training lawyers, it used to be that you would study the law, you would go and take the test, you’d pass the bar, then you might mentor and apprentice under an attorney. 

So you’re really learning the skill and the trade. And somewhere along the way, some people thought what if we just train a bunch of people together? So James Wilson was one of those first individuals to do a mass law training. His lectures ended up becoming law books.

But one of the lectures he gave and we’re saying this, he’s a noted Founding Father, signer of the Declaration signer of the Constitution, original Supreme Court Justice, one of the things he told the law students was that in America the common law of America, he said, with consistency, beautiful and uneven human life from its commencement to its close is protected by the common law. In the contemplations of law, life begins when the infant is first able to stir in the womb and by the law that life is protected.

James Wilson identified the laws of America actually protect the life of unborn children. And how do we identify these unborn children? When does that occur? He said in the contemplations of law, when the infant is first able to stir in the womb, and what he’s identifying is not how many weeks into the pregnancy that is.

The Founders on Abortion

He’s identifying a timeframe when right back in the founding era, there wasn’t this magic stick that you peed on that would give you some multiplication equation, this positive, negative and all of a sudden, like, oh, man, it’s incredible stick, like no, there were no pregnancy tests back then.

So the way that you knew when you were pregnant is when the infant was actually able to stir in the womb. His argument was, as soon as a woman knows she is pregnant, the laws of America protect the life of that unborn child. And this is what he’s telling every single student that is studying law.

Under the founding father himself, signer of the Declaration, signer of the Constitution, Supreme Court Justice, this guy understood the laws of America as well as and better than basically everybody else in America at the time. And he identified in the midst of this, that the law did protect the unborn child.

So the one thing that’s worth noting is even as we talked about the significance of the legislature and who you have will make a difference. Yes, who you have will make a difference in your state for the laws they pass. But it is worth noting. One of the things we want to be able to restore is the recognition of our states of inalienable rights. 

And this notion that your state has a right to abortion, that’s kind of like making the argument that your state has the right to murder; that well, our state’s different in our state, we have the right to rape people or murder people or to mug people…

Rick:

Or slavery.

God-Given Rights

Tim:

Right, or slavery, to give a super practical example. And this is something we recognize no, that is a violation of the laws of nature and laws of nature’s God, is a violation of the inalienable rights that God has given. And so this is something that even though these battles will occur in the States, we still haven’t gotten to the restoration where we want to be the restoration of the knowledge and the protection of those inalienable rights, which is what the Founding Fathers intended.

And so even though the Supreme Court was correct, this is not a federal issue, it’s not in the Constitution, it really shouldn’t be a states’ rights issue either just like slavery never should have been a states’ rights issue, or like murder or rape or anything else should not be a states’ rights issue. 

This is an issue that we should be recognizing that this is an inalienable, a God-given right,. And the role of government on every level, at the local level, at the state level, and the federal level, the role of government is to protect our God-given rights. The first among those is the right to life.

David:

You know, and look in some of the other cases too, the same kind of battle is going to have to go on there. Because now that Coach Kennedy can pray in Washington State as his football game, you’re going to see a coach kneel down in New York and say, I’m going to pray too and they’re going to say, no, you’re not, and they’re going to come after him. 

And a coach in Florida is going to do it and a coach in Oklahoma is going to do it. And it’s going to be getting school Boards, get a school board in there, this got to superintendents that’s not going to sue the coach, or get something different in the city and get the state to protect. So all this is going to come local because now you’re going to see more people do what the court said you can do.

Matthew 12

But there’s a lot of people that don’t want to see that done and they’re going to resist. The same thing with the decision on being able to keep guns and that was really big. I saw a law professor really say it right on the gun decision. 

He said back in 2010 in the Heller decision, which Justice Clarence Thomas wrote majority opinion then, he said, what that gave you was that affirmed your right to keep arms and the second amendment says to keep and bear arms. But in that decision, you are able to say hey, I can keep a gun in Washington, DC in my home and defend myself.

Well, this decision, the Brown decision in New York said, you can take that gun with you when you go out of the house. So it’s the right to keep and bear arms. Well don’t think that Chicago is gone and suddenly say it’s okay for you to start carrying guns in the city or don’t think New York City is going to roll over and start saying you can do that. 

You’re going to have to fight for every one of these rights. Even though the Constitution already gave it, they’ve been gone for so long that now the court has given it back. The culture is not going to roll over and say, well, the court said so, so you can do it. You’re going to have to fight for every one of these things and be engaged, be equipped.

But my goodness, we’re told and Matthew 12, it says the energetic, it says the kingdom of heaven suffers energy and the energetic taken by force. You have to be offensive-minded, you have to be engaged, you have to be willing to go fight these battles and win them because we can win them now.

Tim:

And to your point, where the Bible says the kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violence by force, the violence you’re referring to is that level of energy. So, it’s not the kids energy that’s bouncing around the house or not accomplishing anything. It’s a very directed intentional energy, where we are trying to accomplish a goal. 

But it’s putting that level of effort in where there is violence of action, that we are aggressively pursuing the right thing. The kingdom of heaven suffers violence, the violent take it by force. Those who are people of action, not just of word. And dad, I think that to your point, that’s where you want the energy be people of action, not just people have words. That’s what we need right now, let’s continue forward with this action.

Landmark Rulings At The Supreme Court – What It All Means

David:

And even with these out of the sessions, I mean, with these two guys that won down in Georgia, oh my goodness stand up and start talking on college campuses and sharing the gospel. And if they tell you to get in your free speech zone, say I’m not going to. And when they sue you, go and fight.

But you won it at the Supreme Court, you may have to fight other cases to get there. And the same with even the scholarships, the states are going to say, well, we can’t give a scholarship to homeschool family or Christian school family. Oh, yeah, you can, the Supreme Court rule on that. You’re going to have to fight the fights.

So just because we haven’t won on paper doesn’t mean we’ve won it in the culture yet. And that’s where we have to be prepared to stand up and assert our rights. John Jay said every citizen ought to study the Constitution and defend and assert his rights. And we have to defend and assert these rights that we have. They’re not going to be there just because the court put it there on paper.

Rick:

It’s so true, guys. And you know the other side’s doing that for sure. I mean, the governor of New York has already called a special session there to deal with the Bruin case and come up with some new scheme to keep people from being able to keep and bear arms.

 So it is going to be the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. But at least now, so many of these battles, like you said, are at the local level, and you have so much greater influence on those local officials. So everybody can have an impact on that.

We encourage you to get engaged in your local community and with your state legislature. All these elections in November are going to be so huge for those prolife bills and for so many other things next spring and those legislative sessions across the country. So, every single one of us can do our part, make sure you’re getting educated, getting equipped and getting in the fight.

Thanks so much for listening today. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live!