Nineteen States Take the EPA to the Supreme Court

A recent appeals court ruling granted the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authority to control energy consumption across the country.

As a result, nineteen states are now attempting to limit the EPA’s authority via court action.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is representing his own state as well as leading a group of attorneys general from the states of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming, and the governor of Mississippi has also signed on.

The 19-state coalition is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse an appeals court ruling that gave the EPA the unprecedented authority.

Morrisey contends that if the ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit were left in place, the EPA would have “virtually unlimited authority to regulate wide swaths of everyday life with rules that would devastate coal mining, increase energy costs and eliminate countless jobs.” (https://wvrecord.com/stories/593830432-morrisey-leads-19-state-petition-urging-supreme-court-to-limit-epa-authority)

More specifically, the documents filed by the coalition of states assert that the lower court misinterpreted Section 111 of the Clean Air Act, granting to the EPA the ability to exercise overly broad powers to radically transform the nation’s energy grid and force states to fundamentally alter their energy sources.

The transformation would be accomplished without any legislative input from Congress, allowing the federal agency to alter virtually any and all sectors of the economy, including factories, power plants, small businesses, and residential housing, with coal mining and natural gas production being placed in jeopardy.

The coalition argues that if the High Court were to delay a review, this would likely lead to even more significant and irreparable damage while simultaneously forcing states to invest time and resources into uncertain enterprises.

Back in 2015, Morrisey had filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration over a policy that sought to severely cut carbon emissions, alleging that the implementation of such a policy exceeded the EPA’s mandate.

Morrisey’s legal actions resulted in the Supreme Court issuing a stay, which prevented the policy from being rolled out. However, the D.C. Circuit Court vacated the ruling, thus opening the door for the incoming administration to implement even wider-reaching carbon reduction policies.

The petition of Morrisey and the other attorneys general alleges that the appeals court ignored the rationale for the Supreme Court stay.

The new petition comes as the current administration has announced the most excessive climate initiatives in history, with an intended goal of cutting U.S. carbon emissions in half by the year 2030 and ultimately reaching zero carbon emissions by 2035.

Morrisey spoke against the White House target goals, arguing that the change would have a negative economic impact that would be detrimental to our nation’s international energy standing and calling the emissions cut “a self-inflicted wound to our economy and our national security.” (https://ago.wv.gov/Documents/Statement%20of%20West%20Virginia%20Patrick%20Morrisey%20on%20President%20Biden’s%20Climate%20Plan.pdf)

Critics of the administration’s aggressive carbon reduction plans point out that China and other major polluters will continue to increase their emissions, which will presumably undercut any carbon reductions by the U.S., while at the same time increasing electricity and energy costs for all Americans.

Critics also voice concerns for the segments of our country that rely on fossil fuels and related industries, asserting that these areas would be disproportionately affected by such severe reductions.

If West Virginia’s top law enforcement official and the attorneys general from the coalition of states are successful in convincing the Supreme Court to accept the case, our nation’s people will witness the biggest legal battle involving climate change policy that has occurred in over a decade.

This is the kind of court proceeding that will potentially expose the judicial philosophy of each of the justices on the Supreme Court.

It will also likely define the judicial branch itself and, in the end, determine whether our nation takes the road not traveled.

Taylor Swift Re-records Herself Because She Can

In 1965 legendary country music artist Johnny Cash was involved in a very public dispute with his record label, Columbia Records.

The bad blood created between Cash and his label resulted in an abrupt end of the relationship in 1986, when after 26 years Columbia unceremoniously dropped him from its roster.

Singer-songwriter John Fogerty wound up in court after being sued by his record label, Fantasy Records, for alleged plagiarism (otherwise known as copyright infringement).

It all happened over a song that Fogerty, the co-founder and front man of Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR), had released as a solo artist. Fantasy Records claimed that the tune was merely a CCR song with a different title.

Prince had a very open feud with his record company, Warner Bros. The musical artist and performer extraordinaire made an appearance in public with the word “slave” written across his face. The entertainment industry dubbed him with the new royal title of “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince.”

Taylor Swift has had a long public battle with a music executive connected to her career. The country-turned-pop superstar recently made the decision to re-record and re-release her second album. The move was prompted in part by the attenuated dispute.

All of the above artists that have been involved in fights with their respective record companies have something quite interesting in common. They were extremely upset over a fundamental issue, one that carries great weight with human beings across time and around the globe – property rights.

The right to the private ownership of property is a hallmark of civilization.

Just like she famously is able to do with her song lyrics, Swift encapsulated the private property notion in a recent Instagram post.

“Artists should own their own work for so many reasons,” Swift wrote. “But the most screamingly obvious one is that the artist is the only one who really knows that body of work.”

A term that almost always appears in contracts between musicians and record labels is “master recording.” It refers to the complete, original, or official recording of a performance fixed in a tangible medium, from which copies are made.

The ownership of master recordings is at the heart of Swift’s desire to re-record her music.

Back in 2005, 15-year-old Swift signed with an up and coming label, Big Machine Records. The terms of her contract gave the company the rights to her original master recordings.

The Nashville-based independent label signed Swift to the roster shortly after the company had formed. Other artists who also recorded with Big Machine include Rascal Flatts, Florida Georgia Line, and Sugarland.

When Swift’s contract expired in November of 2018, she switched companies and signed with Universal’s Republic Records. However, Big Machine still maintained ownership of the master recordings of Swift’s first six albums.

As her fans already know, Big Machine sold the master recordings to a private equity group that is owned and controlled by a powerful music manager and executive named Scooter Braun.

Swift reacted almost immediately to the purchase by Braun, posting the news to her massive social media following. She alleged repeated bullying by Braun, sounded off bitterly over the fact that her artistic output was controlled by an individual not of her choosing, and called the situation her “worst case scenario.”

In 2019 Braun sold off the rights to the Swift master recordings for a reported $300 million.

Swift had promised that someday she would re-record and re-release her original six albums in order to obtain ownership over her music. In December of 2020, she started to make good on the promise, beginning with her 2008 release “Fearless.”

She gathered the same musicians who had worked on the original album and re-recorded the material a second time. The result, “Fearless (Taylor’s Version),” was a re-do of the 2008 album with a bonus of six new songs.

The re-release worked out swimmingly for Swift. Not only does she now own the new re-recorded versions of her songs, but the newly released album hit number one on the Billboard 200 chart, giving her added incentive to continue the re-recording trend.

Swift’s 2021 release of the same music that she had recorded back in 2008 may sound the same. But the ownership and control of her music is as different as it can be.

Television Goes to the Movies

The lines between television and movies continue to become more and more blurred.

Even though today’s streaming programs are still called television, they have nothing in common with traditional broadcast or cable TV programming.

The made-for-streaming variety of entertainment fare is generally commercial free and able to avoid the strict timing with which traditional TV has had to contend.

Feature films almost always have a formulaic rhythm to their plotlines that locks them into fixed time slots with which the story must mesh.

With viewers binge-watching entire seasons, series that stream are able to feature similar production values as those of feature films. This allows for them to be financed with larger budgets similar to the ones that studio motion pictures enjoy, while also permitting more flexibility in the pacing of plots.

A case in point is Amazon Studios upcoming “The Lord of the Rings,” a so-called television series that is currently in production. In 2017 Amazon was able to obtain the rights to J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved Middle Earth tale with the goal of creating a streaming series along the lines of the very successful “Game of Thrones.”

It is expected that the “Rings” fantasy streaming series will end up expending the kind of cash layout typically associated with big league studio movie projects.

As money soaked Silicon Valley companies descend on Hollywood, budgets to release long-form streaming of what used to be called television are actually expanding.

There has been a record-breaking first season production cost for “Rings” of an astonishing $465 million, according to the Hollywood Reporter. This is not a number that anyone in the industry would previously have associated with a TV production.

The project is being filmed in New Zealand, and the budget numbers were released as part of the New Zealand government’s Official Information Act, confirming that it is the highest amount spent on a so-called television series.

By comparison, HBO’s “Thrones,” with a budget that was considered groundbreaking for its time, had a tab of about $100 million per season.

Despite the massiveness of the “Rings” budget, this sum does not include the $250 million that Amazon reportedly paid to acquire the rights to the Tolkien material.

With more than 150 million copies sold, the epic fantasy novel from which the series is derived is one of the best-selling books ever written.

The Middle Earth historical saga is of particular interest to Christians in that the work features multiple Christian themes, such as the struggles between good and evil, death and immortality, and fate and free will, as well as the addictive nature of power, the virtue of hope, and the value of redemptive suffering.

Tolkien himself wrote that his book “is a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision.”

Tolkien’s Catholic Christianity also had a profound influence on his close friend, another beloved Christian author, C. S. Lewis. Both had taught at Oxford and were members of the same literary group, and both became known for writing fictional narratives that featured Christian themes and principles.

In his autobiography “Surprised by Joy,” Lewis described himself as “the most dejected and reluctant convert in all of England.”

In September of 1931, Tolkien and Lewis, while walking together with fellow professor Hugo Dyson, were discussing the subject of mythology. It was one of those discussions between intellectuals that can go on for hours. It actually did.

Chatting into the wee hours of the morning, Tolkien posed the proposition during the conversation that the story of Christianity is a myth, which happens to be true.

A few days later Lewis wrote to a friend, stating, “I have just passed on from believing in God to definitely believing in Christ, in Christianity… My long night talk with Dyson and Tolkien had a great deal to do with it.”

Hopefully, the streaming series will stay true to the Christian themes that Tolkien painstakingly placed in his works. After all, if Amazon is spending $465 million to produce the “Rings” series, keeping the Christian audience would not only be a sound business strategy but a necessary one.

The official description of the new series gives an indication that “The Lord of the Rings” streaming series will continue in the tradition that Peter Jackson established in the film versions.

It will reportedly have a story line in which “…kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by the finest of threads, and the greatest villain that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness.”

Look for Amazon to debut the series later this year.

Red is the New Blacklist

“Corporate communism” is a phrase, which according to the Urban Dictionary, was first used by former MSNBC host Dylan Ratiger.

The two words essentially refer to a combined government and corporate system that generally moves wealth and power from middle class working folks to an elite group of individuals in order to exercise control over institutions and populations and to also eliminate competition and options in the process.

Economic policies that confiscate people’s earned income, coupled with lockdown impositions, false media narratives, and severe suppression of free expression, are just some of the indicators that warn of our nation’s rapid shift in the corporate communism direction of which Ratiger made reference.

In 2010 the former cable television host penned a piece in the Huffington Post. He offered an explanation as to why Americans of the last decade were inclined to reject communism.

“…it [communism] historically has allowed a tiny group of people to consolidate complete control over national resources (including people), in the process stifling competition, freedom and choice.”

Communist systems inevitably lead to a loss of freedom, a culture of exploitation, and a compromised group of leaders who obtain their positions courtesy of cronyism, nepotism, and treachery.

Elites who rule communist regimes are notorious for stealing wealth from their citizens in order to enrich themselves.

Hugo Chavez, the communist dictator of Venezuela, railed against the wealthy, while he himself lived an opulent lifestyle.

Chavez was not wealthy at the time when, as president in 1998, he took over the then-wealthiest nation in South America. However, before he died he managed to end up with a net worth of over $1 billion.

Communist Fidel Castro told the people of Cuba that he resided in a fisherman’s hut. But according to a book written by his former bodyguard, the despot owned a 90-foot yacht and over 20 luxurious properties, which were located throughout the country. Castro’s assets were reportedly worth about $900 million; this according to Forbes.

Perhaps it is the lure of monopolistic wealth that explains why multinational corporations nowadays seem to have forgotten the reasons for the decades-long cold war with the Soviet Union that our nation had to endure.

Billionaire co-founder of PayPal and member of Facebook’s board of directors Peter Thiel recently stated that multinational corporations in Silicon Valley do not consider themselves to be “American companies.”

Thiel’s viewpoint is that this lack of corporate loyalty is partially due to the embrace of “woke politics.” But there is also the factor that many of the companies’ employees are sympathetic to the Chinese Communist Party, particularly those who happen to be Chinese nationals.

In December of 2020, New York Post columnist Miranda Devine wrote a piece titled “US companies riddled with members of Chinese Communist Party” (https://nypost.com/2020/12/13/us-companies-riddled-with-members-of-chinese-communist-party/).

In the article, Devine discussed a database that had been leaked, which revealed that American companies had been infiltrated by registered members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

China severely restricts its citizens’ rights of free speech and expression. In fact, the CCP exerts tight control over its media by mandating that all published information be vetted by the regime.

The communist nation filters and censors the internet while being given an assist by multinational corporations that include Google and Yahoo. This requirement is enforced via a strict criminal prosecution system.

China’s attitudes are consistent with those of the international left who have no interest in the free flow of ideas or debate. Founding communists Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky viewed free speech as a bourgeois value and had no problem shutting down presses that were not controlled by the Party.

In reality, communist ideology of any kind is wholly incompatible with the concept of individual freedom. An individual’s best interests are always subordinate to the collective’s best interests.

In corporate communism, multinational conglomerates work in concert with the government to alter, affect, and/or abolish competition, free expression, and choice of employment.

Regimes of this type today also practice blacklisting.

Blacklisting is action on the part of an authority in which a roster is compiled of those who hold ideas, beliefs, or attitudes or who engage in practices or activities that are deemed unacceptable by the powers that be.

For years it has been commonly associated with investigations, which were instituted by the House Un-American Activities Committee back in 1947, in order to block screenwriters and other Hollywood professionals, purported to be supporters of communism, from obtaining employment.

Today’s blacklists contain the names of those who have fallen victim to what is now being referred to as “cancel culture.”

Those who are unfortunate enough to become blacklisted are exiled from digital and broadcast platforms because of past expression of ideas, which run counter to the contemporary narrative of the government-corporate regime holding the strings.

Communism by any other name is just as insidious. And just as deadly to freedom.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Gives the Media a Bible Lesson

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has been a target of the establishment press and the social media ever since she was elected to office.

In a recent critique of proposed COVID-19 vaccine passports, the House member from Georgia blasted the current resident of the White House, took a viral ride on the internet, and triggered a media firestorm all in one stroke.

“They are actually talking about people’s ability to buy and sell linked to the vaccine passport. They might as well call it Biden’s Mark of the Beast,” Rep. Greene tweeted.

A Facebook video further elaborated on her position regarding the issue.

“They want you to be required to have something called a COVID passport,” Rep. Greene explained. “This would mandate your ability to be able to travel, your ability to be able to go to events, your ability to be able to buy and sell…”

It is obvious to all but the naïve that the requirement of such a document, which would demand proof of vaccination prior to attending large gatherings or traveling domestically and/or abroad, would severely hamper Americans ability to move freely within the country and without.

The freshman congresswoman completed her presentation in appropriate dramatic fashion by invoking the subject of totalitarianism.

A vaccine “passport” is “still fascism or communism whatever you want to call it. But it’s coming from private companies. So I have a term for that: I call it corporate communism,” she said.

Almost immediately the compliant media sprang into attack mode.

–The Guardian characterized Rep. Greene as a “Klan mom.”

–An online community of supposed Christians launched a petition that condemned Rep. Greene’s comments.

–And in another sorry attempt at humor, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel wound up disrespecting Rep. Greene while belittling her religious beliefs in the process.

“What a dumb person. The mark of the beast?” Kimmel pretended to query. “Everyone knows the mark of the beast is Zuckerberg.”

Rep. Greene responded without missing a beat by offering a bill to ban COVID-19 vaccine passports. She also brought forth a bill to have Dr. Anthony Fauci receive a 100% pay cut (#FireFauci Act) and additionally shared a video of a meeting that she had at Mar-a-Lago with President Donald Trump.

It is appalling to have to witness the parade of religious bigots in the news and entertainment media, who with apparent impunity think that they can display contempt for the beliefs of hundreds of millions of Christians.

Bible believers across the globe patiently await and prayerfully watch for a future that will someday unfold, one that is foretold in sacred scripture.

Passages of the Holy Book, which Christians revere as the sacred word of God, speak of a time when the Earth is ruled by a highly charismatic, yet deeply malevolent figure.

The “mark” to which Rep. Greene refers is an imprint taken upon one’s body, which is a demonstration of allegiance on the part of followers to the singular evil ruler.

Revelation, the final book of the Bible, sets forth key language on the subject.

… all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, … receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads …”

The words of the scripture passage also make clear that no one will be able to “buy or sell” unless they have had the mark.

The evil leader about which scripture speaks is called the “son of perdition.” A specific number has been assigned to him, one that is familiar to many Bible believers and non-believers alike: 666.

This number, and the demonic figure with which it is associated, has permeated our culture across time, appearing in numerous movies, television shows, books, and songs.

Films such as “End of Days,” “Final Destination,” and “The Omen” have dealt with biblical prophecies that are embraced by followers of Jesus Christ. The remake of “The Omen” was released on 6/6/06 to capitalize on the connection to scripture.

The number has actually influenced the real life decisions of some of our nation’s most highly respected people.

In 1989, after his second term had been completed, President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan moved to a new home in the Bel-Air section of Los Angeles. The residence had the unfortunate address of 666 St. Cloud Road, so the couple happily made the decision to have the address changed to 668 instead.

U.S. Route 666 became a highway in 1926. It acquired its number reference by being the 6th spur connected to the iconic Route 66.

The bureaucrats who named the road were apparently unaware of the number’s biblical significance as well as the negative implications it could attach to the road.

The road made for a particularly treacherous drive nonetheless, and it ended up acquiring two underworld nicknames: “The Devil’s Highway” and “Highway to Hell.” So in 2003, via legislation, former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson renamed the road, changing it to U.S. Route 491.

In 2015 Texas Representative Joe Barton had the number of a bill that he had introduced changed from 666 to 702. According to an email sent by Barton spokesperson Sean Brown, “It quickly became clear that the original bill number carried many different negative connotations.”

In 2017 Finnair flight AY666, which flew from Copenhagen to Helsinki airport, the code of which is HEL, was renamed to flight AY954.

Much like the financial markets make predictions using indicators, the Bible reveals to Christians that they are to watch for End Times indicators of coming events that are foretold in scripture.

One of these indicators is a decline in moral sensibilities.

Millions of Christians and others are painfully aware that this is an ominous trend in our current world. Rep. Greene, along with many of her Christian sisters and brothers, are also extremely uncomfortable with the potential use of intrusive digitally-based identifiers.

For folks like us, the book of Revelation looms large as current events seem to be leaping off the pages of The Word.

The End Times scenario of a one world government, a one world religion, and a totalitarian system of rule seem more and more plausible with each passing day.

Thankfully, though, the second coming looms larger than all of it.

Disneyland Gets Ready for a Grand Re-opening

In the early 1950s, while on an outing with his two daughters to Los Angeles’s Griffith Park, Walt Disney had an inspiration to create a family-friendly theme park that would be unique in its array of attractions.

Thirty-five miles south of his movie studio in Anaheim was where Disney happened upon the perfect location for his latest brainchild.

He was able to arrange the financing, which included a portion of his own money, and dreams quickly began to materialize. The designers and animators who would work on the project would ultimately come to be known as the “Imagineers.”

Disneyland opened its gates in July of 1955, with a kick-off ceremony that lit up TV screens across America for 70 million people.

Zooming over to 2021, a sign that times may be getting better in the Golden State is the upcoming re-opening of the “Happiest Place on Earth.”

The entertainment industry giant was dealt a severe blow by the lockdown, with its theme parks and resort businesses taking the hardest hits.

While Walt Disney World in Florida and other Disney parks have already re-opened, the iconic California theme park that launched the others has been a literal ghost town for over a year.

Employees and fans galore have been anxiously waiting to hear when California’s major theme parks would be brought back to life. Well, there’s a date now.

The Disneyland Resort, which includes Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park, are set to re-open at the end of April. Unfortunately, everything is going to look wildly different from the pre-COVID Disneyland.

In order to comply with governmental requirements, Disney will manage attendance through a new theme park reservation system, which will require that all guests book dates in advance.

Masks for guests over the age of 2 and requisite social distancing will also be a part of the re-opening plan.

One huge wrench in the works is that initially only California residents will be allowed admission.

While Disneyland could have technically re-opened on April 1, plenty of lead time was needed to re-train the approximate 10,000 cast members who will be returning to work.

Challenges are still presenting themselves, but there doesn’t seem to be anything on the near horizon that would be insurmountable.

A long list of health and safety rules exists, which must be adhered to. There is a reduced number of guests that are going to be admitted at any given time. And Disneyland will only be able to re-open at a maximum capacity of 15 percent, which is a lower percentage than the 25 percent capacity of Florida’s Walt Disney World. This is expected to significantly impact the park’s attractions, shops, and dining venues.

Bob Iger recently spoke out about the theme park’s upcoming re-debut.

He told Deadline that “there’s something so symbolic about Disneyland reopening.”

Iger is right about the symbolism, especially when it comes to the Disney brand, which has traditionally been associated with optimism.

The former Disney CEO noted the pivot that Disney had made during the lockdown, with its newfound emphasis on its streaming platform, Disney+.

“When COVID hit, we at least had something to turn to, and I think it kept the company vibrant because there was a beacon of hope,” Iger said.

To its credit, Disney is now moving to instill a sense of optimism and hope within its own ranks as well as the Southern California community.

Shrugging off the unprecedented adversity of the last year, the company is not only re-opening, but it has just announced plans to expand the Disneyland Resort, with new attractions and multi-use areas.

On the west side of the Disneyland Resort, the existing theme parks of Disneyland and California Adventure will be expanded under a game-changing project dubbed “DisneylandForward.”

According to the project’s website, inspiration for new attractions could be based on “Frozen,” “Tangled,” “Peter Pan,” “Zootopia,” “Tron,” and “Toy Story Land.”

The DisneylandForward plan may take as much as two years to come to fruition, because the company is seeking to modify development approvals that it received from the city of Anaheim back in the 1990s.

Disney has made it a point to emphasize that the company is not seeking any public funding for the expansion, which is predicted to add thousands of new jobs to the beleaguered Southern California economy.

It’s pretty much everyone’s hope that this signals things are going to be moving closer and closer to normal.

This, no doubt, will be music to Mickey Mouse’s ears.

California Bill Flies in the Face of James Madison

James Madison was a giant of a man.

Born on a Virginia tobacco plantation in March of 1751, he was the eldest boy in a family of twelve children.

Being smaller of stature and suffering from ill health, he would be unable to see battle during The Revolutionary War. But fight for his country he would in more ways than he could ever have imagined.

Young Madison attended the College of New Jersey, which would eventually become more famously known as Princeton University. At the time, the institution was actually an evangelical seminary.

A protégé of sorts, he studied directly under the tutelage of the college president, Reverend John Witherspoon. This would be where young Madison would develop an untold appreciation for individual rights, limited government, and, most importantly, the freedom to worship.

Reverend Witherspoon was attune to the importance of the development of an internal moral sense, an ethical compass, if you will, which he viewed as being instilled in all human beings by God.

As destiny would have it, Reverend Witherspoon would not only influence young Madison, but he himself would go on to be the only active clergyman to sign the Declaration of Independence.

One time during his travels in Virginia, Madison came across a jail in which a group of Baptist preachers were being detained. The ministers had been arrested as a result of their open expression of their religious beliefs.

Madison was so deeply affected by the injustice he had witnessed, he rushed off a prayer request to his friend William Bradford “for Liberty and Conscience to revive among us.” The experience would further spur him on to become a fierce advocate of religious liberty.

He expressed his passion for religious freedom in his involvement with the new constitution that was being written for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Strengthening a clause that was written by George Mason, he transformed the language of the text from a government grant to an inalienable right.

Over the next decade Madison would be involved in various other religious liberty battles. And in 1785, he would pen one of the most powerful defenses of religious liberty ever written, the “Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments.”

After the Constitution, as Madison wrote it, was ratified by Congress in 1788 and came into effect in 1789, many leaders wanted to add additional material containing the fundamental rights with which government could not interfere. However, the Constitution itself specifies that the adding of such material can only be done through amendments.

Madison initially opposed the idea of putting additional amendments into the Constitution. As the author of the Constitution, he considered his work so complete that no additional amendments were thought to be needed.

He and his colleagues believed that the Constitution placed enough limits on government, via the separation of powers, to safeguard individual rights.

Madison was also concerned that listing some freedoms in amendments, but not others, would lead government officials to believe that they could do whatever was not explicitly forbidden by the document.

It was providential that Madison had a friendship and political alliance with Thomas Jefferson. He actually served as the third president’s secretary of state.

Jefferson had written a series of letters from Paris, France, attempting to persuade his friend to change his mind about the Bill of Rights. Madison did eventually come to believe that amendments setting forth our rights might impress upon the nation the importance of placing limitations on state power.

Madison became the point man for the Bill of Rights, taking on the mantle not only of drafting the amendments, but of also shepherding the founding document through the legislative process. Drawing on Mason’s Virginia Declaration of Rights and Britain’s Magna Carta, he wrote the Bill of Rights and presented it to Congress in June of 1789.

The Bill of Rights, which of course includes our cherished First Amendment, was ratified on December 15, 1791.

Among myriad other amazing accomplishments, Madison served as secretary of state in the Jefferson administration. Then following in the presidential footsteps of his friend, he became the fourth president of the United States in March of 1809 and served until March of 1817.

President Madison would be cut to the core if he were here to witness what is currently being proposed in California – a bill that would actually dismiss from service those members of law enforcement who hold certain religious and/or political beliefs.

Under the pretext of seeking the elimination of “hate speech,” the proposed law would virtually place the government in the position of denying police officers the ability to be employed or to remain employed, based on their Christian beliefs and/or conservative principles.

The legislation’s name is a misleading one, the California Law Enforcement Accountability Reform Act. It would require law enforcement agencies to determine if potential hires are guilty of thought crimes. It would also allow existing officers, who are subjectively determined to hold incorrect or unapproved beliefs, to be fired.

The California Assembly Public Safety Committee is scheduled to consider the piece of legislation on April 6. But its language is so broad and ambiguous it stands as a textbook violation of the protections of religious liberty and freedom of speech, which are engraved in the First Amendment.

While our First Amendment rights weren’t specifically enumerated in the original text of the Constitution, Madison ensured that the rights would be enshrined within the amendment process.

He authored the inspired words of the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

Read it and weep California. Madison is.