For Americans who believe that the “Rule of Law” should prevail over a president’s wishes, there was good news last week.
A federal district judge in Texas ruled that President Obama acted illegally in offering “safe haven” to several million illegal immigrants and their children.
Obama, of course, started immediately to try to find ways to overturn the judge’s decision.
A columnist for the Washington Examiner—in a piece reprinted in The World-Herald—criticized Obama’s increasing efforts to increase presidential power regardless of what the constitution says.
Columnist Michael Barone wrote: “The Constitution authorizes Congress to pass laws and requires the president to faithfully execute them. Obama seems to take that as not so much a requirement as a suggestion, one he sees fit to ignore when he wants to ‘change the law.’”
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‘Rule Of Law’ Should
Prevail In Nebraska Also
A closer-to-home example of efforts to bypass the rule of law surfaced in a story about the effort to win legal approval of same-sex marriages in Nebraska.
There seems to be a misunderstanding on the part of some in the news media and same-sex marriage advocates as to how the rule of law applies in Nebraska.
A recent news story reported that Federal District Judge Joseph Bataillon indicated he would rule later on an effort by two Lincoln women to win approval of what they regard as their marriage.
State Constitutional Language Should Prevail
The headline over the story read: “Judge holds off on gay-marriage ruling but leaves foes of state law encouraged.”
The headline indicates that some journalists simply do not understand that it is not merely a “state law” but a state constitutional amendment, overwhelmingly approved by the voters in 2000, that forbids the legal recognition of same-sex marriages.
To find same-sex marriages legal in Nebraska, Judge Bataillon would have to ignore the rule of law.
‘Same-Sex’ Supporters Can Try Route To Ballot
Opponents of that law—imbedded in the state constitution—have the option of asking the Legislature to provide for a vote of the people on whether the constitutional ban should be lifted. Or supporters of same-sex marriages could also circulate petitions in an effort to bring the issue back to the Nebraska ballot.
I have written before that I think the simple solution is to simply say that, nationwide, same-sex marriages are legal.
The issue simply consumes too much time and political and public attention considering its overall significance.
I note with interest that few, if any, news stories quote authoritative statistics as to how many same-sex unions exist in the United States. Far fewer, I believe, than suggested by all the attention which the issue receives.
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Smorgasbord This Week Concentrates On Media
And What ‘Death Penalty’ Means In Nebraska
SOME NEWS STORIES
The headline read: “U.S. Supreme Court won’t hear death row challenge.”
As a practical matter, the “death row” is already dead in a good many states, including Nebraska.
In Nebraska, for example, the so-called “Death Row” might better be called “Longevity Row.” Nebraska hasn’t executed a prisoner since 1997, and 11 prisoners are waiting on “death row,” under sentences imposed years ago, in one case 35 years ago.
The long delay involves the question of how you can humanely execute the condemned prisoner in view of the continuing controversy over what lethal drug might be quickly effective.
DO EDITORS CONSIDER POSITIONING OF STORIES?
A recent headline from a story given top play on The World-Herald’s front page carried this headline: “Political life losing its appeal for youths.”
Immediately under that story was a story headline: “Ralston gets a younger perspective at City Hall.”
The story told of the election of 31-year-old Michael Sanchez to the Ralston City Council and described him as the youngest city council member in the Omaha metropolitan area.
‘THINK TANK’ PROPOSAL GETS
STILL MORE W-H COVERAGE
The Open Sky Policy Institute, a so-called “think tank” which I had not heard of until a few weeks ago, continues to get extensive coverage, including front-page stories, in The World-Herald, with little or no emphasis on the fact that the Lincoln-based “think tank’s” proposal is not simply to reduce property taxes but is linked to a proposal to increase state income taxes substantially.
The latest example of extensive—and favorable—coverage: A front-page story which appeared under this headline: “Two visions of tax cuts dig in for a legislative tug-of-war.”
You had to get to an inside page to be told that the Open Sky proposal to lower property taxes would be financed by substantial state income tax increases. A rival “think tank” proposal by the Platte Institute would lower property taxes by promoting efficient use of property tax revenues.
BUT HOW MANY HAVEN’T OPTED FOR OBAMACARE?
A front-page story reported that ObamaCare signups totaled 120,000 in Nebraska and Iowa by the February 13 deadline.
The story didn’t mention how many Nebraskan and Iowans eligible for government-subsidized medical insurance had NOT signed up.
W-H KID-GLOVE TREATMENT
OF UNO HOCKEY CONTINUES
The University of Nebraska at Omaha hockey team continues to get kid-glove treatment from The World-Herald sports department.
On the front page of the sports section there is frequently, if not regularly, a story during the week reporting on the Mavs and an upcoming game.
Then there is the game-night preview story, followed by front-of-Sports-Section coverage of the results of the game.
If The World-Herald sports reporter regularly assigned to “cover” the Mavericks ever directed any challenging questions to Coach Dean Blais—the kind that are frequently asked of Nebraska Cornhusker football and basketball coaches—I don’t remember the news story.
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‘Rule Of Law’ Decision Provides Upbeat Ending
For an upbeat ending today I return to the good news reported in the opening section of today’s column:
Despite challenges, the “Rule of Law” principle upon which this country was founded still is alive and well despite President Obama’s continued efforts to circumvent it or ignore it.
A tip of my journalist’s cap to those federal judges who believe that the Rule of Law is the bedrock upon which this self-governing republic was founded more than 200 years ago.
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