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BREAKING: Senate Advances Gun Reform — What’s In It?

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow
The Truth Network Radio
June 22, 2022 1:18 pm

BREAKING: Senate Advances Gun Reform — What’s In It?

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow

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June 22, 2022 1:18 pm

In a 64 to 34 vote yesterday, the U.S. Senate advanced a bipartisan gun reform bill. Jay, Jordan, and the rest of the Sekulow team break down what's in the 80-page bill and the constitutionality of the bill's provisions, especially with regard to the Second Amendment. This and more today on Sekulow.

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Breaking news today on Sekulow as the Senate advances a gun reform bill. We're going to break down exactly what is and what is not in it today on Sekulow. Now your host, Jordan Sekulow.

Hey, welcome to Sekulow. So last night people were wondering if they could get it done before the July 4th holiday. There's still questions about how the votes will be scheduled, but they do have the votes. So I think it's important for you to know what they'll be voting on in this Safer Communities Act, which includes multiple provisions on gun safety. A few which actually do go to whether or not you'd be able to purchase a firearm.

A lot of that done through federal funding then given to the states. But we're going to break it down for you because even someone like Senator Marco Rubio came on our broadcast just about a week and a half ago about some of these provisions. Did not vote for cloture on this last night because he said they got an hour to read through the legislative text. So one of those games again that I think I don't like when you're involving fundamental constitutional rights, even when you've got that support, what are you afraid of giving people a day to read it? What are you afraid of? What are they going to find there that makes it where less people would support it or they'd get more pressure from outside Congress, including individuals, because are they trying to pull a fast one? That's what everyone thinks when you do that.

Sure. And also because in a situation like this, and as you said, when you're dealing with a fundamental right, so if you're going to regulate in the context of the First Amendment and here the Second Amendment, the rule is make sure the legislation is not vague. Because if it's vague, the courts will come in and say it's void for vagueness. That's a doctrine of law, actually.

It came out of a Supreme Court case first when I argued in 1987 in Jews for Jesus. They said that the law was vague, therefore unconstitutional and overbroad. So legislation like this has to be very, very tailored. Now, like you said, there's some provisions we like. There's some provisions we got some question on. Thann Bennett's in our office in Washington, D.C. I think he's up now. We got that connection up.

Thann, where is this? I mean, Marco Rubio raised a point that he didn't get notice about this until an hour before the legislative text, until an hour before they were going to vote. Yeah, I think that's really where you have to start, Jay. I mean, look, this is a senator that is in favor of this type of legislation. He was not given, afforded the chance to read it before he voted on it.

I'm with Jordan on this. I don't think you should move a bill this important until every senator has a chance to understand what's in it. And look, I know we're going to walk through some of the provisions, but Marco Rubio likes red flag laws. This legislation gives funding from the federal government to state governments to set up red flag laws. But that is the deprivation of a fundamental constitutional right. You have to make sure that proper due process is in place. This legislation, Jay, does have a four part test that says states have to comply with.

But how is that going to be applied on the ground? We really don't know the answer to that question. And I think that Marco Rubio's vote was the correct one, even though I'm sure there's a lot in this bill that he likes. I think it was rushed to the floor, 80 pages long, two hours to read. All those senators, Jay, none of them read it.

Well, that's the problem. It was like the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare. Pelosi said, you'll know what's in it when we pass it.

Yeah, again, with these 80 pages, but those pages don't tell the full story. You've got to check other provisions and what they're citing to, especially when you're dealing with fundamental rights. So we're going to break down the provisions for you when we get back some of the more controversial provisions and some of the provisions that really aren't controversial at all. Like when it comes to more school safety, I think that there's a lot of support for that. If you took this and kind of divided it into two pieces of legislation, you get almost everybody supporting some of these provisions. But instead, it looks like we're going to get a handful of Republicans enough to get through the filibuster and then, you know, all the Democrats. But it does raise suspicion when we had a senator on, like Thanh said, who supported even some of these provisions that were more controversial and still voted no because they didn't get enough time for their staff or them to go through and see what it actually does and how it impacts a fundamental right.

I just don't like that kind of move by Washington. I know they're rushing for a deadline, but when you're dealing with a fundamental right, you better be very careful you're not going to be creating thousands of new court cases with your legislation and actually weakening what you're trying to do. So we'll take your calls on that, 1-800-684-3110. If you've got questions about what these red flag law means or juvenile issues, 1-800-684-3110. The gas tax holiday that President Biden wants to propose, it's ridiculous, but again, we'll take calls on that as well if you've got questions, 1-800-684-3110.

All right, welcome back to Seculars. This got 14 Republican support in the U.S. Senate and Pat Toomey, who's retiring in Pennsylvania, said he would have also voted for it. He just wasn't able to vote that day, and so there would have been 15 Republicans voting for this. They are trying to move this very quickly to the President's desk. A Senate vote, you know, maybe tomorrow, and then the House vote Friday in getting it to the President's desk. As you heard, there's already been senators who favored some of this legislation, who have voted no so far because they haven't had enough time to even go through and do it. Let's start with the more controversial provisions.

Let's start there. This is the red flag law provision. So this sets up a new category of red flag laws. Now, it's not done at the federal level. It provides states with funding to implement crisis intervention programs. So each state, so depending on where you live, would have flexibility to decide which type of program works for their state, but states that choose to implement red flag programs would be required to meet certain due process protection criteria. So that's like someone who just doesn't like you because of your politics. We got to make sure that that's not used as a red flag law or that a former employee of an employer, you know, is just mad that they got fired, so they try to do this.

They know that employer loves hunting and they try to get them on a list like this. So I understand the concerns, the due process concerns are very real when you talk about these laws. Now, they are enforced in a number of states, including red states like Florida.

So they do exist and I don't think there's been a ton of controversy post the passage. I think the question here is, will states really be able to be flexible? So can a state like Tennessee do something very different than Florida and still receive the federal funding? That's key number one. Key number two is, of course, the due process concerns or else that you end up right back into federal court. We talked about this with the life cases, with all of those.

You never want to write the legislation that's just going to put you right back into court. So in a situation like this, the general concept of red flag laws, I think there's a lot of agreement that it's a good idea. And some states, as you said, have put them in place, Florida, for instance, other states, where it's been very successful.

Those are good things. So what you would hope would happen here is that the states would, in a very real way, follow the model of states that are working. But as you said, there's going to be some play in the joints. Some states are going to want to do it differently. So the biggest thing here is going to be to make sure, as this money is allocated and the laws are put in place, then we have to start looking at the states to make sure they are not violating due process.

It's all about application, Jay. I mean, there's good and there's bad here. There's $750 million over five years for this. And I think the really good thing is that it's not set up on the federal level. I mean, one of the things that I think people were the most concerned about was that there be a federal database that could one day be used to take your guns. That didn't happen under this legislation.

That's good. But, Jay, people need to understand how a grant program like this works. I mean, Jordan talked about the four-part due process to be in place to get this grant money. That's all fine and well, but that sign-off happens before the check is sent to the states.

So then what happens if those dollars, Jay, are used in a way that actually satisfy that form? We're going to go back to Thanh in a minute. Thanh, we're having a little technical trouble on our end. We're going to go back to you in a minute.

It keeps popping in and out. But so, again, going back to that, Jordan, the key there is going to be I like the idea. I think the red flag laws generally are a good idea with due process in place. If there's no due process, it's a terrible idea. What these usually mean is that if you're in a household, a lot of times it's suicide. We were talking to Senator Rubio.

You suspected somebody who has already expressed suicidal thoughts to you, maybe has already tried to commit suicide. You're trying to prevent them, a loved one, from being able to purchase a firearm for a shorter period of time. Again, they get their due process right, so it's not like forever.

So I think there's ways it works, but there are also ways to really exploit this. That's what makes me concerned is that I see it like with the bar complaints that came out of the Trump world. Anybody who's a lawyer for Donald Trump gets bar complaints all over the country because you can file those. I think there has to be some real good faith protections here. If you file this and you file it wrong because of some reason that is not allowed, there should be something that happens to you. There should be some recourse about the person who files to get the red flag on somebody, especially if they're doing it for harassment purposes.

Or idealized. But this is where basic constitutional principles come into play. Viewpoint discrimination is unconstitutional. It has to be at the highest level of scrutiny, strict scrutiny, least restrictive means.

Banning someone with vagueness is not the way to do it. Now, red flag laws in general, if appropriate due process is in place, make sense. But again, it depends what the law actually is. And I understand these senators getting no notice and saying voting on it when you're talking about a fundamental right. But there are some things in here we like, but let's go to the next provision. Yeah, next controversial provision.

If you've got questions about these two, it's 1-800-684-3110. We're kind of running through the most controversial. Then we'll go through some of the ones that are less controversial. Even the NRA said they would support some of those provisions, but they don't support, of course, this law because of provisions in place here. Section 12-001, enhanced review process. This is the under 21 purchasers. It says that a person is prohibited from purchasing a firearm if his or her juvenile record includes information that would make them ineligible. If no such disqualifying information is found in their juvenile record, no new waiting period. So it doesn't mean that they have to wait longer because they're a juvenile. It just means that their juvenile record can play a role in the background check. This would be a provision that expires in 2032 unless it's renewed by law. Now this one brings into question this for me. It's their juvenile record that includes information that would make them ineligible, not necessarily if they were convicted of a crime.

Yeah, so this is where if it was based on conviction, I think everybody would understand that. Information could be troubling. Now, the way to cure this... Because you don't want people from being afraid to go see a psychiatrist.

And that's the concern you have is does the mere fact that you go see the psychiatrist result in something like that? You have to disclose that. That seems like it would get into a whole host of problems legally. So again, this is the second provision which on its face, I think a lot of people say, listen, if you had a violent juvenile criminal record, but that's not how they wrote it. They did not write the text that way. They could have written the text that way to say if you have a criminal juvenile record, then we will look back on that and that would impact you just as if you had that kind of criminal record as an adult. I would understand that a lot more, but they wanted to use more flexible language. I think that flexible language is just a little confusing because, again, what would be the juvenile record that's not a criminal? I'm trying to figure that out, too. Is that reports from school?

Is that things like that? What does that entail that would actually, again, impact someone's core constitutional right? Remember, juvenile records are not usually used in adult proceedings. This is different, though, because this is you're trying to show is there a propensity to harm?

A conviction obviously does that, but if there is activity, remember, you've got to look at the enhanced review process, but you also have to look at the red flag law. So if the parent of a juvenile, say, who's about to turn 18, thinks a child is a danger, they could still utilize the red flag law process to prevent the gun access with due process. So that's how these would be tailored. The third provision, which already kind of exists if you were married. So this is what it does. It expands it to people who aren't married. It's the current law. So this is current law. Prohibits recently people convicted of domestic violence against a spouse or a person similar to a spouse or a person to whom they have a child from purchasing a firearm.

That's already the law. This section extends the prohibition to persons convicted of domestic violence against someone with whom they have or recently had a serious romantic relationship. So you don't have to have a child together. You don't have to be married. You don't have to be in a current relationship. That one to me is more of an extension of a current law.

They were calling this a boyfriend loophole. Again there, if you've got a domestic violence conviction against you, I don't think it should matter what you were situated in, right? We don't really care about that anymore in the United States.

If you're convicted of a crime like that, you should probably be on a list like that until you have that crime expunged. And there are some good things here. There's going to be real dollars available for school safety resource officers. We have said that the hardening of the target, which is the school building itself, is still the priority one.

And that isn't here and I don't think there's much disagreement on that. Do you want to take the call on Line 1? Do we have time?

Yeah, I think we do. Yeah, let's go to Lisa in Florida on Line 1. Lisa, welcome to Sekulow. You're on the air. Great.

Thank you so much, fellas, for taking my call. I'm a retired social worker in Florida and we've had the Brady Law for quite some time. I had a case of a former police officer who had been in and out of mental hospitals.

His wife had filed an injunction against him and unfortunately, as soon as the injunction was dropped, he went to the daycare center and shot and killed her. The Brady Law, I mean, it's great in theory, but obviously it didn't prevent this woman from being shot and killed. The other thing, too, is there are so many people who have mental health disorders, like cops, who are active duty. So here's what the law does, though.

It has in it a significant investment for mental health, both in children and family health matters. So that's a good thing. Yeah, I think, and remember, what they are focusing on here, which when we talked to Senator Rubio, is these mass shootings meet a lot of similar, the people that conduct them have similar backgrounds.

You know, they're males, these teenage years that conduct them, they've said or done things that people have already said, this doesn't even surprise me that they did this. I mean, so it's not, I don't think this is to prevent all gun crime. This is really looking at the mass shooting issue. So I take in mind, Lisa, what you're talking about is that there's much more to do, especially on the mental health front, that this is focused on mass shooting and I'm not endorsing, I'm just trying to get everybody the facts. So we're going to keep tracking the gun legislation.

Obviously, there are votes for this. It'll be whether or not they're able to do it quickly enough before July 4th. I think a lot of these issues are going to be at the state level because it's written so broadly.

And unfortunately, I think there's going to be a lot of litigation that flows from that because, again, it doesn't define a lot of the terms. And again, there are senators out there who would support it, but they said, you know, we got one hour to review it. I do not like the way Washington works that way.

I don't care if it's Republican supported or Democrat supported. You should have more than an hour when you're dealing with people's fundamental rights or any legislation, but especially when you know it's one that you can go into court and easily win if it's written poorly. So it's not worth going through all this and saying, oh, we finally got something done on guns if you're going to go to court and take down every one of those provisions because they were so overbroad.

And I have some issues with a couple of them. They look a little bit overbroad because they don't define what a juvenile record even really means. Juvenile information is what they say. But we'll move on from that because there's a lot to analyze there, but also some ACLJ cases. We got an ACLJ victory just came out.

We just got it just a few minutes ago. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit sitting on bunk. That means the entire Eighth Circuit. All the judges heard it. The case involved an Arkansas law that we helped defend that allowed the states to have what's called an anti-BDS bill.

In other words, if you're refusing to do business with Israel, we're not doing business with you as the state. The state has the prerogative to do that. And I'm happy to report that we have won that case on bunk, which means the entire Eighth Circuit. Now, the next stop for that case could be the Supreme Court, but the court held that there was not a violation of free speech or any other protected activity.

So that's some good news. And we have also, just talking about filing briefs and C.C. Howells with us, we have a brief that, or two briefs now, that we filed in the state of Michigan in the Supreme Court. C.C., update everybody on those cases.

Sure. So in Michigan, Governor Whitmer is actually trying to get a, you know, we've been talking about this battle for life and what happens if the Dobbs decision comes down and Roe is overturned. Governor Whitmer has set her sights to create a right to abortion through the judicial branch, actually by litigation and not by a constitutional amendment. And so we have engaged in this litigation. She's filed a lawsuit against the prosecutors in the counties that actually provide abortions. They filed a motion to dismiss and we've engaged. And now the Supreme Court has gotten involved and asked for a supplemental brief from the governor and then from the amici as well. So we filed the second amicus brief just recently. And we're pointing out, you know, that first, this lawsuit is premature because we don't have the Dobbs decision. No, but we do have some word on that.

Yes. The question the court asked in this case, Jordan, was whether the questions should be answered before the Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs versus Jackson Health. So we filed those briefs. The brief's been filed. We just got word about 30 minutes before we went on air, the Supreme Court has added another opinion day this week. So opinions tomorrow and opinions Friday. My suspicion is Friday is the end of the term. Yeah, I mean, if they were tracking about how many they've been released, six or so each time, this would just be one additional one on one of those days.

I mean, and there's some major ones, not just Dobbs. I mean, you've got a gun case out of New York, concealed carry case. You've got the prayer case.

You've got an EPA case. I mean, there's the heavy cases we're still waiting for. So I think both Thursday and Friday will probably get some very interesting cases. The interesting thing here in this case is that this is the prelude, I think, to what's going to happen post-Dobbs. And that is you're going to see actions taken at the state Supreme Court level. We've already started looking at what that means. And one of the things I noticed in this brief is we're pointing out here that the governor did not have the authority to basically initiate a new law on her own, which is pretty much what happened here.

Right. So we point out that the governor has exceeded her authority by, one, she can enforce compliance with a law or she can restrain violations of a law, but she can't force the judiciary to create a new law. That's a legislative function.

And so she's exceeded and gone outside the bounds of her authority by filing this litigation. And that is going to be, where you're going to see post-Dobbs is the state actions like this. So states that have a pro-abortion governor are going to be very aggressive, and we're going to have to be prepared to meet those challenges head on. Yeah, and that's why we launched ACLJ Action as a sister organization that you can join.

It's $25 to become a member each year, so $25 annually. You become a member of ACLJ Action, and we're very honest. The more resources we have, the more states we can work in through lobbyists, through ads, through information campaign. And the first real issue that we're launching on is Dobbs.

We're prepared. We've been doing the analysis based off who's the secretary of state. Who is on the Supreme Court there?

Who makes the decisions about who's on the court there? What's the current makeup? What's the current governor? What's the current legislation? Is there trigger legislation in that state that would say if Dobbs is, if Mississippi's law is upheld, we're putting in the exact same law in our state. So there's good states. There are states that are kind of ready to go that there won't have to be a lot of work in. There are these states that are, again, red states, but it's going to take a lot of work. I'll tell you one, for instance, Iowa, for example, likely will need a constitutional amendment.

Because of the way their state law is set up. Iowa will likely pass, but you've got to go through that process of getting a constitutional amendment on the ballot. So a C4-like ACLJ action can really engage to get that on the ballot and inform people, but that's the first step there. Yeah, and then the ACLJ can come in as the ACLJ and help defend those. Because I do think, Cece, we're going to see, even in states that are pro-life, you're going to see challenges in the state courts.

That's right. These Supreme Courts in these states can be very unusual. Some of them have the governors appointed them and they're not subject to re-election.

They could be on the court for 30 years. They could have been appointed by Democratic governors. Attention elections where they're not opposed.

Really not opposed or they don't run by party. So it can be very confusing. So we should take nothing for granted in this process. We can't take anything for granted in this process. That's right. You're exactly right. The Supreme Courts, just because you have a conservative state doesn't mean that the Supreme Court is conservative and will make the right decision.

And so we have to be ready and we are ready to engage in each one of those actions. Just like we see in Michigan, here is a governor who is trying to bypass a constitutional amendment process or the legislative branch and go straight to the courts and try to get them to create a right to abortion. Because she knows if Dobbs is overturned in their laws, basically, it's not really a trigger law, but it acts like a trigger law because their law currently is following Roe. If Roe is gone, then it goes back to what the previous law was, was to prevent just the life of the mother. And there was a 1997 Court of Appeals decision there that literally, that specifically says there is no constitutional right to abortion in the Michigan Constitution. Yeah, so that's where you're going to see the litigation is clearly going to be focusing, which is what, when you overturn Roe, this is what happens. It goes to the state courts. Doesn't mean the battle is done, but it sure does change the nature of the battle.

It changes the battle considerably because you get to take it right to the people. So instead of it being this very Washington, federal-based issue and kind of coastal issue, if you will, you are and your state legislatures are going to have the ability to enact pro-life legislation that cannot even be challenged in court. Now you can decide do you want to go further and it might be challenged in court. Our kind of advice is do everything the Supreme Court will allow you to do first. Get that done. And then go to your next steps. But get whatever the Supreme Court says you can do so that it's easily tossed out of court when Planned Parenthood challenges it.

That's what you should do. Now getting to there is different in every single state. That's why ACLJ action plays an important role because we're doing the research on that. And also if we need an advertising campaign, a lobbying campaign, a constitutional amendment campaign, which is very different at the state level. It's not like at the federal level where it's almost impossible to do. It's very possible to get that done at the state level.

So we're going to be looking at every state across the country. The more resources ACLJ action has, the more states we can be involved in. It's Join today. Become a member.

It's $25. You can give more, but that's what it costs to join ACLJ Action. For decades now, the ACLJ has been on the front lines protecting your freedoms, defending your rights, in courts, in Congress, and in the public arena. The American Center for Law and Justice is on your side. If you're already a member, thank you. And if you're not, well, this is the perfect time to stand with us at, where you can learn more about our life-changing work. Become a member today. Keep you informed and engaged. Now more than ever, this is Sekulow.

And now your host, Jordan Sekulow. So we've updated you on this Safer Communities Act with some of the more controversial provisions, certainly in this gun control legislation that is right now on track to pass very quickly the Senate and the House and end up on the President's desk. So if you've got more calls about that, if you've got questions, if you didn't get those in that first half hour, you can absolutely call in about that, 1-800-684-3110. We talked about the pro-life challenges. We expect the Dobbs case this week now because the Supreme Court has added, if you're just joining us, a Friday Opinions Day. So they're doing opinions tomorrow and Friday. And if you look at the cases they have left, this is 13. 13, 6, and 7. 7 and 6. Yeah, I mean, it looks like you're going to get a lot of big cases.

Prayer, abortion, a Second Amendment, EPA. This is, again, it's going to be very interesting to see what comes out tomorrow and Friday, but expect it by Friday. So all these groups threatening that violence, I mean, they're also kind of being able to key in though as well and say that it's likely coming these next two days of the week. And they've called for riots. In Washington, D.C., there's flyers all over the city saying, you promised you'd riot, you better show up and riot. That's what James Reven is putting out. That doesn't mean people will actually show up and riot.

Hopefully not. But I think there's going to be massive protests, certainly in cities like Washington, D.C. I don't think it's all around the country.

I think it's the cities around Washington, D.C. where politically charged places or far left cities where you'll see the protest begin there. But another issue, again, we're tracking closely is, of course, the gas prices. Now, President Biden, he's got his solution for you. Of course, Barack Obama even thought this wasn't a good solution, but his solution is he'll pause the 18-cent-per-gallon federal gas tax for three months.

We did this, broke this down. If you're paying $5 a gallon right now, a lot of you are paying more. That is 3% of a gallon is what that would pay for, for $5, 3% of a gallon.

So when you spread this out, I know that anything helps right now, but this is very minimal to impact. It's a half a cup of gas. In fact, if this ever did pass, by the time it passed, gas would go up further, thus erasing any of the savings that would have been there with the 18%. This is what happens when you go from energy exporting, which we were doing in the United States, we were energy independent, to energy dependent.

And that happened in 18 months. And then Barack Obama said that this was a bad idea, and now his former Vice President and now President wants to do the same thing. Take a listen. I know that we're having a debate right now about the gas tax holiday. I know how brutal this is on folks right now. But for us to suggest that 30 cents a day for three months is real relief, that that's a real energy policy. Means that we are not tackling the problem that has to be tackled.

We are offering gimmicks. And I agree with Barack Obama right there. This is a gimmick to try and act like to the American people that they have done something. First of all, you've got to get legislative support for this.

Probably won't happen. Because, again, you've got to get enough Republican support. And when you look at it, again, over time, like Barack Obama was talking about, even if you were looking at 30 cents a day savings over a month, which that was when gas was like $3. So when it's $5, you're not going to get 30 cents savings every day over a month. It's just by the way it's moving up the price, it's erased before it even becomes law.

Well, that's the problem. This should have been done. These are actually would have taken on immediately when inflation began.

This would not have actually done anything, is the truth. And you're right. And by the time this may go into effect, which it won't, gas will likely be up more than 18 cents a gallon. The problem is, he's pounding the oil companies while at the same time he's telling them, I'm putting you out of business in two to five years, but I need you to produce more now and spend more money. Well, they're not going to do that.

No, they're not. I mean, they've got shareholders that they have to be responsible to. And they went through a time period where people weren't buying a lot of gas, so they weren't producing a lot because of COVID and the pandemic. There wasn't a lot of travel.

People weren't going into work. And so they have ramped up, but they also have been told by an administration that they want to eliminate them as a business. So they're protecting their shareholders. But take your calls on this. Is it a gimmick? I think it is.

1-800-684-3110. We'll be right back on Secular. Will, our producer, proposed something interesting. You know, it's a three-month holiday, so let's say they actually did pass this in a few weeks.

They get back for the July 4th holiday. I guess when you'd get the next gas price hike, because this would expire. So if Joe Biden's thinking politically, ah, maybe not politically great, it would happen right before the midterm elections.

Why would you do that? It would literally have an 18% per gallon spike, 18 cent per gallon spike, right before people head to the polls in the midterm elections. So again, this is a gimmick to announce. They know it's not even going to happen. They know it doesn't make any financial sense. They know it really doesn't. Some have said it's a Band-Aid. No, Band-Aids stop the bleeding. This does not stop the bleeding.

This is not a Band-Aid. It is nothing. Like I told you, if you pay $5 a gallon right now, this is 3% of a gallon if it's at $5, which is higher than that in most places. So 3% of a gallon, I mean, again, that is, if it was part of a larger plan where you were going to do this, you were also going to unleash American energy, you know, 1, 2, 3, 4. I wouldn't be making fun of it.

They didn't be part of a larger plan. But it's not. But it's not.

It's stand-alone. It's so absurd. And it will not pass Congress.

So you've got that. It won't pass Congress. This is just for politics to announce it, act like they would even try to do something. We did an analysis before we went on air, and it ends up being, if you were like filling up your car, it's like you're getting a half a cup of gas. So, Wes, I mean, this is what's so ridiculous about it. It's a soundbite, but it's a half a cup of gas.

Absolutely. And whenever a senior White House official yesterday said they're doing this to provide the American people a little breathing room, quote, unquote, that is an insult. You're giving the American people a half a cup of gas, and you want to tout it as you're providing them breathing room. The issue, there are a lot of factors that go into the gas price crisis that we're in, and it is a crisis. But a lot of the reasons for it are President Biden's policies. He has restricted oil exploration and leases on federal land. On his first day in office, he canceled the Keystone Pipeline, and he also canceled other pipelines. He has vilified, vilified the fossil fuel industry in America so that people are reluctant to invest in it. The industry itself, it costs money to drill, to explore, to transport, to refine.

They are backing away from that somewhat because he has declared that in a matter of years, his intention is that we will put them out of business. What the President doesn't understand, Jay, is that when you're the President of the United States, what you say matters. It impacts the economy.

It impacts people's livelihood, their daily life. And this crisis, a large part of it rests on his plate. Yeah, well, he keeps blaming Vladimir Putin. I mean, this is Putin's price increase. Meanwhile, report on the New York Times, not exactly a conservative newspaper.

New York Times report. Now, who's making the most money out of this right now? Vladimir Putin. Vladimir Putin is making more money off of their oil and gas than they ever have. Yes, and the ruble has come back in its value as well, the Russian currency. China and India are buying more Russian energy than ever before. The Russians are not hurting.

The United States and our allies, we are hurting as far as energy goes. We've got skyrocketing oil prices. They are getting more money.

Yes, more money from sales than they did ever before the war began four months ago. Their currency has also surged in value against the dollar. So remember, we were going to crush their economy, devalue the ruble.

It's now stronger than the U.S. dollar. Yeah, so which also goes into this factor. You don't make decisions without having a plan in place. You don't cut off Russian oil and gas willy-nilly without having a plan in place. Now, if we were already in an energy-independent country, that would have been easy to do, and we'd still be energy-independent, and we'd be able to punish Russia. But we weren't when we cut them off, and we had no plan in place of where we were going to get this missing gas and oil.

So what happens? Massive inflation gas and oil that was already up. All blamed on Putin. If the inflation was already up, the cutting off Russia just made it worse.

So I don't take their word that they blame Putin for everything, but it did make it worse because they didn't have a plan. It's like Nancy Pelosi said this when she was asked about the gas tax holiday. Remember Barack Obama called it a gimmick?

Listen to what Pelosi called it. So, okay, so we have a situation where there's money coming out of the highway trust fund. It's going to the oil companies. They may not give it to the consumer, and it has to be paid for. So we're paying for something to give a break to the oil companies that isn't even going to the consumer. So that's the con.

The pro is very showbiz. Okay, let's just do something. There it is. But it is not necessarily landing in the pocket of the consumer. It's taken out of the trust fund. We have to pay for that to return it. It's not that I agree with everything she said, or Barack Obama, but Obama called it a gimmick.

She says it's showbiz. It doesn't actually impact the consumer. It doesn't help the American people. What would have helped the American people would have been finishing the Keystone Pipeline, like you said, Wes. What would have helped the American people is that we were energy independent and an energy explorer. And now we're dependent on Saudi Arabia to hopefully get more.

And what was the other, I think Venezuela, they've gone to all these countries. And as you said, Wes, pounding, pounding these oil and gas companies while he's telling them produce more and they're saying, how much money did you make last year? Absolutely. You know, think about it. Think about it. 18 months ago, we were energy independent and there was no gas crisis like this.

We have it now. Again, it's due to policies and decisions made by this White House. And the other thing about going to places like Venezuela and Saudi Arabia to buy oil is that their production is not near as clean from the environment as American production is. So he could actually help the environment by encouraging American oil and gas industries, which he's not doing. The other thing, too, which was on my radar and it really bothers me, they keep pushing for some sort of an agreement with Iran. And I think part of the reason for that with the Biden administration is they want to buy Iranian oil, too, because right now we're not buying it.

You know, that's an interesting and I've not thought about that. So, of course, we're not buying Iranian oil. And you think that by getting this nuclear deal back on track, so to speak, which I think is a disaster on 100 levels, that will give the impetus for them to clear the way to purchase oil from Iran? Yeah, I think that's part of the motivation, although it seems to be falling apart, that agreement, and hopefully it will stay that way.

What's your latest on that? You know, I'm watching the news at night following the Russia Ukraine thing, and boy, it seems like it's turned. What is the situation?

It really has turned. The weapons, including the long range artillery that we've promised Ukraine, is slow to arrive. And Russians, meanwhile, have long range artillery. They are pounding civilian population centers as well as Ukrainian troops. It is very tenuous right now.

President Zelensky is still doing a good job with leadership. His military, their morale seems to be high, but they are gradually losing more and more territory in the eastern and southern parts of that country. We don't know what the final outcome will be. It's not going to be soon, whatever it is.

But at this point, the Russians are slowly grinding down on the Ukrainian people. Yeah, I think that, listen, we're at a point where we need strong foreign policy leadership, we need strong domestic leadership, and we're not getting either of that. I mean, so, again, the idea is that they'll throw out gimmicks, although throw out, as Nancy Pelosi says, showbiz is just for show.

But that's quoting Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi on this gas tax holiday. How do you see, we're looking now at the midterms, we're not that far away, we're four months, five months out, how do you see it lining up? I mean, you had that unbelievable situation in Texas, where a, what was it, a plus-20 Democratic seat ends up plus-13 Republican. Yeah, in a special election. In a special election.

What's your sense of where we are? If Maya Florida is able to take that into November and wins those kind of races, you know, which President Trump did pretty well in that district, even though it's a plus-18 Democrat district, that's when you get the waves. Again, in Georgia, my buddy won the runoff for Georgia too, Chris West, I've known him for a long time. He's from Southwest Georgia, and there was a kind of Washington Republican candidate, probably not a bad guy, but got all the big endorsements.

Trump did not endorse either. But Chris was able to win, edge it out by like a thousand votes last night to be the nominee, to take on Sanford Bishop. They are taking on Sanford Bishop. There's been redrawing of the district and changes. So Southwest, if you look at Georgia too, now on a map, it's a big district that involves Columbus as well, but also a lot of rural counties. That is probably one of the most top priority races for the NRCC in the country. So if those are the kind of races that are at the top, taking out a long-term U.S. Congressman in their own district because of a little bit of redistricting, or a South Texas Democrat stronghold become top races for the NRCC, that means they're not having to be as concerned about the D plus one districts. Those are almost 100% going Republican. So I think for all that you're seeing, whether it's the January 6 committee, all of that should be shut down by next year. You know, it's interesting that because you said that, Newt Gingrich said he would not be shocked if there were as many as 70 Republican plus 70 in the House of Representatives.

That's a long shot, but he said that's possible. Listen, these House races, it's different than statewide races. It's local, and as they get through the primary process, and Katie Britt got through the primary process in Alabama last night, and she ended up with Donald Trump's endorsement before, easily beating Mo Brooks.

I mean, it was 60-30 when I looked at it. It's new leadership coming. In Alabama, you know she's going to be elected U.S. Senator, you don't take anything for granted, but new leadership, younger leadership, more women in the party, more Latinos in the party, a diverse party. But also, like I go back to Chris's race, people wanted the authenticity. They didn't want the fly-in candidate. They wanted somebody who actually lives in South Georgia, who is not from Atlanta, who just came down for the, but actually understands the concerns of a lot of farmers and rural voters. That's good because they are connecting better, I think, with voters into the general election.

All right, welcome back to Sekulow. As we told you, the Supreme Court added an additional Opinions Day this week, Friday, so we suspect that we have the Dobbs case by the end of the week. I mean, they can always surprise you. They can always say, okay, we're going to do one more next week, but they've been doing about that many cases on each of their opinion days, and by adding that day Friday into the week, seems like they are trying to finish out their caseload, get the opinions out. Now, we talked about Dobbs, so we expect by the end of this week to have that.

If I was betting between Thursday and Friday, I'd bet on Friday, but you never know. But there are four other cases that are significant that I don't want people to forget about because I think once Dobbs comes out, there won't be as much discussion on these cases. We'll start with the West Virginia versus the EPA. That's about the federal government's ability to create the environmental regulations. The challengers are a group of 27 Republican AGs, many from states with traditions in fossil fuel, including West Virginia, so challenging EPA authority.

That's huge right now. We're talking about an energy crisis. Remember, the Supreme Court looks at it from a legal standpoint, but it doesn't mean the climate of the world, so to speak, or the country is not at play here. But this is an interesting case because it's a regulatory issue, and you've got 27 state attorney generals. And this is why these Attorney General races are so important, that actually initiated the litigation here. And this is where basically the regulations were so hampering fossil fuel production that it was closing an industry.

We know, because Joe Biden has said this, the President has said this, he wants to close the industry. So they're using all of this, and including the courts here, I'm glad the Republican AGs filed suit. I'm a bit optimistic on that case. I think that one could come out in favor. I think Dobbs should come out in favor of the life position based on the leak of the opinion. And then we've got other cases on here as well.

And then one that's not that should be. So it's a big Second Amendment case out of New York, the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruin. This is the court's biggest gun control case since 2008.

And this is New York, this is what happened. Rule of the Second Amendment guaranteed individuals the right to have a gun at home for self-defense. New York has this process where if you want a concealed carry permit in the state, you have to apply for one.

You don't just go and do the class. You might have to do that, but then you have to get a certificate from the state that you've met the concerns needed to be able to carry a firearm. So what does that mean? It means the celebrities and politicians, their security gets protection, but individuals are being denied concealed carry permits. So I think, again, the court's going to look at that and say if you're giving it to some people, but you're not giving it to other citizens, you've got equal protection issues right there on a fundamental constitutional right that, again, it's unlikely that that New York standard is held up in court, which would make concealed carry easier in New York. Sometimes it takes time for those to actually get through the process, but, again, a big Second Amendment case there.

On immigration and border security, the Remain in Mexico policy, because that was challenged by Texas. Biden versus Texas, because of the way Remain in Mexico was reviewed, was that a violation of the Administrative Procedures Act? The court, Dad, does not like violations of the APA.

No, it does not. And so, I mean, when they don't allow the comment period that's required by law and they go around on that. The court kicks out a lot of rules on that. Yeah, I mean, you can lose the case just based off that. Yeah, and people say it's a technical decision, but it's a technical decision that's actually very important. There's a case that's not on the NPR list, and that is a case involving – There's one more.

And this could come out any day, and this could really be big. It's going to get overshadowed by Dobbs, obviously, but it's a case involving prayer at a football game. Now, we've said, wow, we've had that a zillion times.

What's so unique about that? During the course of the argument, and one of the things that was brief – we filed an amicus brief. Our friend Kelly Shackelford's group, Liberty Institute, handled the case, and we're all asking for what's called the Lemon Test, which is this ridiculous test that was put in place in the 1970s by the Supreme Court on how to evaluate whether a particular action violates church-state separation, okay, violates the Establishment Clause.

And it's been an awkward test. I did a case in 1990 called Lamb's Chapel. Justice Scalia wrote this famous concurring opinion where he called the Lemon Test a ghoul in a late-night horror show that keeps shuffling up and coming out of the grave.

Every time you think you've stuck a knife through its heart, it still pops up on you. And in that case, it was, again, they didn't have to rule on Lemon to rule in our favor. Here, in this case, they had the opportunity to overturn the Lemon Test. If they do, that could be the most significant church-state case, I would say, probably since Mergens, which authorized the Bible clubs in public schools.

It could be that big. Now, the court could still say his prayer was constitutional, even under Lemon. And my hope is that the court would get rid of this Lemon Test once and for all. The test should be coercion, is what they normally say. Neutrality is always a guiding principle. But again, no one was compelled to participate in this coach's prayer.

It wasn't required. And the court has a unique opportunity here. We're going to find out very quickly. So like within the Dobbs case, and we've got this leak of opinion which has created havoc.

Yeah, I was about to say, bring that up. So I think there is concern now that people know it's really coming. It's going to happen tomorrow or Friday.

Right, more than likely. Yeah, and more than likely on Friday. But we'll be on it both days here on the broadcast. Even if it extends to next week, we'll be on it.

But that was a draft, and it looked like you had five votes. But there's been a lot of pressure. There's been violence. There's been an attempted assassination. There's been the political threats, the actual threats of riot. And there's got to be, it is a legitimate concern if you're a pro-life to think that there could be a justice who has said, you know, this is putting my kids in jeopardy.

Get wobbly. Yeah. Well look, I mean their whole idea- And it's been a lot of time. Yeah, well it has been a long time. It's been, what, a month and a half?

Six weeks. So what normally would happen when you have the first draft, if the votes stand, what the difference will be between the draft that we saw a month and a half ago and what you'll see is the author of the opinion, Justice Alito, would have responded to the dissents, which we're assuming is Breyer, Kagan, Sotomayor, et cetera, those three. Now, that's normally what happens. The question is, as you said, there's been a lot that's taken place. Let's look at what's taken place. We've had the protests at the judge's, justice's house, even though there's a federal law that prohibits, Merrick Garland refuses to apply it. Multiple crisis pregnancy centers have been either desecrated, okay, vandalized, or bombed.

And that's all happening in the last few weeks. We have Jane's Revenge is what they're called now, threatening anarchy in the streets and riots across the country if the decision comes out like this. So their intent, whoever leaked this opinion, and I can't believe they don't know who did that by now, was to get this reaction that maybe the judge, and that's why we talked about court packing, they talked about codifying Roe v. Wade.

It failed. But that's where all this was aimed at. So we're gonna find out very soon how that plays out. Yeah, I mean, this is... Like in the next 48 hours. And I think, again, so you have to prepare, one, for the decision. And listen, if this is a decision overturning Roe v. Wade, we should celebrate. Don't take all the fact that we've said all the work that you gotta do after that. It's a massive celebration because this is the fight we've been wanting to take is to take this back to the states.

And it was almost not even on the radar. A lot of people thought this would not happen in their lifetimes. And the fact that it's potentially going to happen, I think we are very prepared, and a lot of other groups are very prepared for this.

So is the abortion industry. So while we'd be ready to celebrate that massive victory, that would be, because it took so many steps. It takes confirming good judges, that means, and justices, that means electing Presidents who pick those justices, getting a Senate who can get them through confirmation processes to get to this point. And then allow you to go and battle it out in the states.

So again, it takes a lot of work to even get there. And with that leaked opinion, which I don't like the leak, but it showed that we're there unless somebody buckles over these last six weeks. So stay up to date with us at the ACLJ. These next couple of days are going to be very important, not just on the life issue, on the Second Amendment, on religious liberty, on EPA, on so many, so many different issues that I think you want to follow. Support our work at Of course, we're involved in all these cases at We'll talk to you tomorrow.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-30 09:58:21 / 2023-03-30 10:19:59 / 22

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