A few weeks ago, we shared with you a report published by The Buckeye Institute entitled Defending Liberty in Ohio: A Roadmap for Protecting Freedom and Limiting Government with the State Constitution. The report was published in conjunction with the Institute’s creation of the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, and was attributed solely to the 1851 Center’s newly hired director, Maurice A. Thompson.  At the time, we didn’t discuss Mr. Thompson specifically, but that was nearly 3 weeks ago and things have changed.  In a very big way.

Today, Maurice Thompson spoke at a press conference announcing the 1851 Center’s intentions to place a constitutional amendment before voters next year that would make Ohio a right-to-work state.  We discussed the absurdity of introducing such an amendment so soon after the Issue 2 defeat, but we can now confirm that they submitted the amendment language to the Ohio Attorney General on November 1, a full week before the election.  They knew Issue 2 was failing miserably and wanted to cover their bases.

While the filing of the amendment is a worrisome attempt in its brazenness to circumvent the will of Ohio’s electorate, the core beliefs of those behind the effort, Maurice Thompson and the 1851 Center, are not only appalling, they can only be described as arrogant, bigoted, prejudicial, and flat-out racist.

The 1851 Center’s founding report, Defending Liberty in Ohiowas written by Thompson and published by The Buckeye Institute in 2009 in conjunction with the election of President Barack Obama. The document explains the timing:

It’s time to even out the playing field, and to use the Ohio Constitution to benefit Ohioans in search of freedom, rather than special interests in search of favors. This is why the Buckeye Institute is establishing the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law. Through targeted and principled litigation, the 1851 Center represents a significant opportunity to improve Ohioans’ lives and well-being.

Thompson’s opening paragraphs best explain his perspective and his fears of the new president [emphasis mine]:

In the aftermath of the 2008 Presidential elections, many Americans fear that our federal courts will take a drastic turn to the left. Fortunately for Ohioans, the Ohio Constitution offers greater, independent protections of individual rights, and the Buckeye Institute’s new 1851 Center for Constitutional Law will focus on invigorating those protections. Fears of a stark shift in how federal courts protect constitutional rights may be well-founded. Our new President has expressed his constitutional jurisprudence as follows:

“[T]he judge has to then bring in his or her own perspectives, his ethics, his or her moral bearings. And in those circumstances what I do want is a judge who is sympathetic enough to those who are on the outside, those who are vulnerable, those who are powerless, those who can’t have access to political power and as a consequence can’t protect themselves from being dealt with sometimes unfairly, that the courts become a refuge for justice.”

He’s added that he prefers judges who have “got the heart, the empathy to understand what it’s like to be a young teenage mom.  The empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old, and that’s the criteria by which I’m going to be selecting my judges.”

Mr. Obama is accompanied by sizable majorities of Democrats in both the House and the Senate, and enters office at a time of record federal court vacancies. This means that Mr. Obama will not only have the authority to handpick federal judges who share his constitutional jurisprudence, but he will have the authority to do this early and often.

Quick summary: Maurice Thompson is a bigoted racist who wants to convince us that Ohioans need to be terrified that President Barack Obama might appoint judges who demonstrate:

  • sympathy to those who are vulnerable,
  • sympathy to those who are powerless,
  • sympathy to those who are can’t protect themselves from being dealt with sometimes unfairly
  • empathy towards teenage mothers,
  • empathy towards the poor,
  • empathy towards the elderly,
  • empathy towards the disabled,
  • empathy towards gays, or
  • empathy towards blacks

Two quick definitions:

  1. sympathy – the sharing of another’s emotions, esp. of sorrow or anguish; pity; compassion
  2. empathy – the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another

Let’s piece a few of those sentences together for clarity’s sake:

The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law will focus on invigorating protections of the Ohio Constitution due to well-founded fears of a stark shift in how federal courts protect constitutional rights because our new President has expressed a preference for judges who are sympathetic to those who are vulnerable, those who are powerless, those who can’t have access to political power, and he prefers judges who have the empathy to understand what it’s like to be a young teenage mom, to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old.  Mr. Obama will have the authority to handpick federal judges who share his constitutional jurisprudence, and will do this early and often.

And Maurice Thompson and the 1851 Center are here to protect Ohioans from the devastating effect of the President’s choices.

Yes, God forbid anyone other that straight white males have some rights around here.

Remember, this report is the founding document of the 1851 Center, and was written solely by Maurice Thompson, the man who has now introduced a right-to-work amendment in Ohio.  Whatever garbage he spews from his mouth when advocating for his amendment must be colored by his clear mission to only elevate the rights of Ohioans who are:

  • protected,
  • powerful,
  • authoritative,
  • wealthy,
  • young,
  • healthy,
  • straight, and
  • white (or at least not black)

The 1851 Center & Maurice A. Thompson: vocal tea party supporters, staunch opponents of public unions, and opponents of minority populations.

This is what they believe.  This is who they are.  This is a statement about their core values and the driving values behind this latest ploy.

Finally, in case you were still unsure about Thompson’s motives, he included a crystal-clear summary in his Roadmap for Protecting Freedom:

The 1851 Center will also commit itself using the Ohio Constitution to provide a safe harbor from leftward-moving federal courts. With the Buckeye Institute, and the contributions of Ohio citizens, the 1851 Center will spur the pendulum to swing away from government intrusiveness, and back towards the ethically superior state of freedom.

We should all take a pass on Thompson’s version of safe harbor.  Who will ally themselves with such a bigoted, fringe-element organization?

Is this really who Ohioans want “protecting their rights?”

 

 

 

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