Featuring the Work and Ideas of the National Center for Public Policy Research & Project 21
In the U.S. Supreme Court’s significant ruling in the case of West Virginia v. EPA, the justices pushed back hard against the unelected bureaucrats who have been trying to implement large-scale change regarding the nation’s energy policy, says National Center Senior Fellow Bonner Cohen, Ph.D.
The Court pointed out that these efforts constitute an unconstitutional power grab. The ruling highlights the need for major change for a government that has long been happily shrugging off the duties of checks and balances:
For decades, Congress has delegated its constitutionally-prescribed lawmaking authority to unelected bureaucrats at federal regulatory agencies. It has done so by passing vaguely-worded laws and then standing idly by while bureaucrats write rules and regulations under those laws. But every rule and regulation has the force of law behind it – enabling bureaucrats to become de facto lawmakers.
The Supreme Court’s ruling in West Virginia v. EPA begins the process of rolling back this harmful process. It says, in effect, that EPA lacks the congressional authority to limit greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. If EPA wants that power, it must first go to Congress and request it. This is what the Founders envisioned when they created the separation of powers.
The ruling tells climate activists, including those in the Biden White House, that they will have to find other ways to impose their green utopia on hardworking Americans.
“The Court’s latest ruling on regulatory policy was a crushing blow to leftist authoritarians and central planners in the United States,” says Project 21 member AK Kamara. “It was a major victory for those of us who value the fact that we are constitutional republic with democratic institutions held accountable to the people.”
AK is referring to the ruling in West Virginia v. EPA, one of the last cases decided in the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2021-22 term and a major blow to the Biden administration’s regulatory ambitions.
In a 6-3 ruling, the justices determined that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had overstepped its authority by seeking to rework the nation’s energy system on its own by heavily favoring alternative power sources such as wind and solar over reliable legacy sources including coal and natural gas. The Court said such decisions need legislative approval.
“Only Congress can pass legislation. Agencies cannot do so much on their own. In this case, the Supreme Court did the right thing in upholding the law,” noted Project 21 Director of Membership Development Donna Jackson. “Going forward, all federal agencies need to adhere to the statutory authority they have been granted by Congress instead of acting as a self-appointed rogue government operating outside of the law.”
In his majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote:
[I]t is not plausible that Congress gave EPA the authority to adopt on its own such a regulatory scheme.… A decision of such magnitude and consequence rests with Congress itself, or an agency acting pursuant to a clear delegation from that representative body.
Commenting on the broader implications of the Court’s decision, Project 21 member Joe Mobley said:
West Virginia v. EPA could be one of the most important cases in America’s history, but not for the reasons many people think. While it may seem like the case hinges on the “climate crisis,” it is really about the just powers and the proper exercise of said powers. This case points to whether or not the nondelegation doctrine will be restored to correct the balance of power within the federal government.
The three branches of government have distinct purposes, each essential to ensuring both the proper functioning of government and the proper checks and balances. If the Congress were to surrender – or delegate – the power to effectively legislate to the executive branch, for instance, our government would cease to function as a representative constitutional republic. Instead, it would operate more like a complicated matrix of interconnected monarchies in which agency leaders craft and enforce their own rules and regulations without concern for the burden placed on the people or the feelings of other branches.
Congress has delegated enormous authority to the executive branch. Think about it. There are endless administrative agencies that cast rules that have the same power and enforcement methodologies as laws.
In her dissent, Justice Elena Kagan emphasized emotion over constitutionality, complaining that the ruling “strips” the EPA’s authority to deal with “the most pressing environmental challenge of our time.”
To this sort of reasoning, AK responded:
The left will predictably melt down and scream that allegedly extremist right-wing justices ruled to doom the world to die from man-made climate change. But the truth is that the question before the Court was not about environmental policy in the slightest.
The question was: Should Congress be able to punt major policy changes to the executive branch’s bureaucratic agencies to implement major policy changes with profound economic impacts? More specifically, should the White House be able to do so when it doesn’t have enough voting power to pass the changes legislatively?
The answer to that question, according to the overwhelming majority, was a resounding “no.” They held that unelected bureaucratic officials cannot implement major policy changes because they are not elected as representatives by the people. The will of the people still matters. Even if the alleged reason for doing so is to “save the world.”
Project 21 member Kathleen Wells, who has been independently involved in regulatory issues, added:
For more than 40 years, the environmentalist movement has been warning that global warming is the result of mankind’s burning of fossil fuels and poses an “existential threat” to human and other biological life. It’s one of the many grandiose lies the Left uses to reshape, if not destroy, Western civilization.
The EPA claims that Clean Air Act regulations will generate $2 trillion in benefits and prevent 230,000 in early deaths; however, this claim is not supported by the actual evidence that the deaths were caused by air pollution — it’s a misuse of ecological epidemiology and bio statistics. And the Clean Air Act claims have been contested for 30 years.
Woodrow Wilson’s desire to put administrative agencies, with their experts and bureaucrats, in charge of policies for America was wrongheaded!
I recently submitted a public comment to the EPA on how their strict regulations have destroyed American small businesses, and especially independent black truckers in Los Angeles, without the necessary scientific data to justify it. It should now be obvious that the greens, and not global warming, pose an existential threat to humanity.
“In response [to the Dobbs decision]… a string of major American corporations have committed to paying the expenses of employees who find themselves unable to secure the abortion of their choice where they live,” writes Free Enterprise Project (FEP) Director Scott Shepard in his latest commentary for Real Clear Markets.
“The Dobbs decision has provided the most recent needless-risk creation opportunity” for CEOs, Scott adds.
The column explains the differences in abortion policy between states, and how by giving employees the option to travel to any state, corporations have adopted the policies of the most ardently pro-abortion states.
“By their hasty moves, woke corporations have in effect adopted these abortion-maximalist positions as their own,” Scott clarifies. “The companies’ positions are now dictated by the most extreme pro-abortion position to be found anywhere in the Republic.”
Scott also details how this extremist position is bound to backfire on woke CEOs.
“Whichever way the companies go,” he writes, “the CEOs who allowed themselves to fall into this trap will find themselves obliged to assert, as usual, that this additional link in a long chain of left-wing political activism is really no such thing…. This will leave the CEOs to retreat further to the claim that the move had nothing whatever to do with politics; rather, they acted because it was in the demonstrable long-term best financial interest of their companies. On its face, this will be an absurd claim.”
Scott concludes: “Everyone knows that Larry Fink, Brian Moynihan and the rest of the woke CEO brigade are liars: their actions are patently woke, patently partisan, patently political. Every few weeks, it seems, they add fresh evidence to the eventual fiduciary-breach cases against them.”
To read the full piece, click here.
In a discussion with host Laura Ingraham on the Fox News Channel’s “The Ingraham Angle,” Horace continued: “This is Clarence Thomas’ Court. He is the intellectual leader. And what he has promised and what he demonstrates is a fidelity to the Constitution.”
Yet Justice Thomas is also the most maligned of the justices. Among other invectives and criticisms hurled at the Court’s second-ever black justice (and the only one currently serving), Ingraham played video of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot using the f-word against him, and Hillary Clinton recently describing him as a “person of grievance.”
“If you don’t agree with Clarence Thomas, why the bigotry?” Horace asked. To him, it says more about Justice Thomas’s critics than it does about Thomas himself: “[I]t reveals who they really are.”
Commenting on the justice’s foul-mouthed critics and those who won’t stand up to them, Horace said:
Shame on these people for using racist names that would have been welcome and normalized in the 1920s, 30s and 40s. And then to see them today on Twitter – shame on them.
Horace explained to Ingraham that the way this particular black conservative is treated proves the need for the National Center’s Project 21 black leadership network:
That’s the very reason why Project 21 was created.
We wanted to make sure that Americans understood that black Americans have conservative views, moderate views, liberal views. There’s not a one-size-fits-all, that we come from all walks of life. And that someone amazing and as talented as Clarence Thomas is, in fact, authentically black.
The challenge, from my perspective, as I see it, has been the American people embrace this idea. I don’t have a lot of pushback with America. I have a lot of pushback with the progressives. They act just like Democrats did during Jim Crow: Hey, black guy! Stay in your lane. Stay in your space. There’s only certain things we’re supposed to be able to do.
In contrast to the respect Justice Thomas shows toward the Constitution, Horace remarked that “[t]he left hates our Constitution.”
“Oh, you say that’s not true – that’s stretching it?” he asked rhetorically. “They want to eliminate every state getting two senators. They want to eliminate the Electoral College. The want to get rid of our Supreme Court. They want to throw out the most wonderful, amazing document, that’s allowed liberty and a free people to operate. Clarence Thomas is its champion.”
“We’ve won this fight in the courtroom. But those who support the unborn can’t rest.”
That was the initial comment of Project 21 Co-chairman Horace Cooper, released just minutes after the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its landmark ruling on abortion in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
While three other Project 21 members commented on that same release, more of the organization’s black conservatives are speaking out about the abortion decision and its impact.
“Finally, all lives matter!” exclaimed Project 21 member Michael Austin, who added:
For decades, the U.S. Supreme Court held there is a right to an abortion despite the word no mention of it anywhere in the Constitution. I shed tears of joy to see the Court return to our Framers’ intent. The first human right is the right to live.
Project 21 member Emery McClendon pointed out the good government aspects of the Dobbs decision:
Abortion has been one of the hottest topics in America for years. Roe v. Wade was long overdue for review by the Court. It was treated as sacred law beyond reproach, but it was actually a bad old decision that should have been left up to the states. Following this new ruling, it will be.
The citizens of our 50 states need to be active in making sure that each legislative branch hears and considers the will of the people regarding abortion and vote accordingly.
Project 21 member Adrian Norman noted how the majority of the justices used the Dobbs decision to bring the Court back into line with its constitutional intentions:
Abortion was never a constitutional right. This decision by the U.S. Supreme Court corrects an act of judicial activism from 1973, when the justices acted as a legislature and legalized abortion nationally through the Roe v. Wade decision.
And we have seen with other rulings, the Court is not immune from error. In Plessy v. Ferguson, the Court ruled that racial segregation laws against blacks did not violate the Constitution. But the Court later issued a series of rulings – starting with Brown v. Board of Education – to correct its mistake and outlaw racial segregation.
The Court’s ruling in Dobbs once again enshrines it as a body that interprets law, rather than one that engages in policymaking.
I’m praising God because Roe is gone! I’m giving thanks for the Supreme Court finally righting their wrongly-decided law. We truly believe that all life matters.
And I’m also praising God for each and every person and organization that has worked and lobbied for almost 50 years to stop the bloody slaughter of innocent children.
History has been made today, and now our attention must be focused on the individual states. Overturning Roe was every bit as important as it was to rid our beautiful country of the institution of slavery. If we stand united against this horrific practice, we shall overcome this, too!
To that end, Project 21 member Mike Hill, a former state representative in Florida, noted:
Now the real battle begins at the state level, where it should have always been. Each state can decide if they will continue to sacrifice their children or celebrate life.
For an elected official to occupy a seat, two things must happen. First, they must earn more votes than their opponent, and they must say an oath of office. That oath begins with, “I do solemnly swear that I will support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States…” Remembering that the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are inextricably tied to one another – and the Declaration calls for the “unalienable rights [of] Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” – any elected official who does not respect life has effectively violated their oath of office and committed perjury.
Hold your state elected officials accountable according to their oaths of office. It is great to be alive!
Additionally, in a new commentary, Horace wrote about the left already trying to call the legitimacy of the Dobbs decision into question:
Already, many on the left are saying that because the Court overturned Roe, it is “delegitimized” as it acted “against the spirit of democracy.” But this could not be further from the truth…
In this week’s ruling, Justice Samuel Alito asserted that the Court never had the right nor the power to uphold Roe. Both Roe and [Planned Parenthood v. Casey] are longstanding violations of the Tenth Amendment that should have never been breached.
Despite what the left insists, overturning constitutionally-protected abortion on demand is not a “violation of fundamental rights” nor an “attack on women;” it’s a return to the democratic process. The power is now back in the hands of the people, and the process that follows will be one that unfolds through discourse. That means the question of abortion policy will debated and determined by our elected representatives…
The left only praises and respects our democratic norms when they are favorable to its agenda. But when they are not, our system and its norms must go down with them. Leftists believe that the ends justify the means, and if they have to sacrifice sanity, the rule of law, democracy, judicial precedent and the legitimacy of the court… “so be it.”
All of Horace’s commentary is available here.
Banner photo taken by American Life League on January 22, 2015 and used under Creative Commons rules described by Flikr.
The United States Supreme Court struck down the Blaine Amendments this week in the Carson v. Makin case. “This decision, which will enhance school-choice opportunities, is great news for anyone who genuinely seeks increased workplace diversity by legal and nondiscriminatory means,” writes Free Enterprise Project (FEP) Director Scott Shepard in his latest commentary for Real Clear Markets.
The column details how the Carson decision’s impact on school choice could positively influence lawful and nondiscriminatory diversity in the workplace.
“If we want racially and ethnically diverse workplaces,” Scott continues, “we have to make sure that students of all races and ethnicities get all of the tools they need in school to compete at the highest levels.”
Scott also provides a background of the Blaine Amendments and their “patently bigoted” original purpose, as well as an analysis of the Carson decision.
The column also breaks down how a government monopoly on schools is producing a low quality education. “Government is virtually never an efficient supplier of anything. Layers of pointless and counterproductive bureaucracy cost a lot of money.” Scott explains.
“Government monopolies are particularly prone to inefficiency because competition drives down costs,” writes Scott. “And government education monopolies are perhaps more prone to inefficiency than anything in the modern era.”
“What [parents] need is a way to access proper, rigorous education for their children. That way is facilitated by an education system that gives parents money to spend on any schooling they wish,” writes Scott.
To read the full piece, click here.
In a major ruling backing the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of law-abiding citizens seeking to carry their guns outside their homes out of concern for their self-defense.
“At a time when Congress is preparing to erode our gun rights, it’s refreshing to see the U.S. Supreme Court affirm them,” said Project 21 member Michael Austin. “You shouldn’t need to prove to the government you have a right to carry a firearm for self-defense. This is a massive victory that will have far-reaching protections for our Second Amendment rights far into the future.”
In the opinion in the case of New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote:
The constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense is not “a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees.” We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need.
“The Court confirmed that gun ownership is not a ‘second-class right’ – it is protected by freedoms enshrined in the Constitution,” said Project 21 member Melik Abdul. “Justice Thomas’s majority opinion puts states on notice that draconian gun laws will not be tolerated.”
In a 6-3 decision, the justices ruled that New York’s law requiring “proper cause” in order to carry guns publicly “violates the Fourteenth Amendment in that it prevents law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their right to keep and bear arms.”
“The Supreme Court has finally clarified that the fundamental human right of self-defense does not end at one’s front door,” explained Project 21 member Craig DeLuz. “By removing the ‘Just Cause’ qualification, the justices made it clear that to be able to bear arms is a right, not a privilege.”
Defining the scope by which government can address gun restrictions, Justice Thomas wrote in the majority opinion:
To justify its regulation, the government may not simply posit that the regulation promotes an important interest. Rather, the government must demonstrate that the regulation is consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation. Only if a firearm regulation is consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition may a court conclude that the individual’s conduct falls outside the Second Amendment’s “unqualified command.”
Project 21 Co-chairman Horace Cooper commented: “Thanks to today’s ruling, the Second Amendment is no longer a disfavored right. The Supreme Court has squarely acknowledged that – like the First Amendment – it is personal, and the burden is on the government when it wants to infringe on this right, rather than on the citizen.”
“When the Second Amendment says our right to carry a firearm ‘shall not be infringed,’ it means exactly that,” said Project 21 member Melanie Collette. “As citizens of the United States, we should never need to justify to the government why we need a firearm to defend ourselves. Every argument on behalf of the State of New York in this case was emotional. They were not legal arguments, and they were not constitutional arguments. I am grateful – particularly in these dangerous times – that we live in a country where citizens can now protect themselves without infringement by the government.”
In Michigan, Project 21 member Chris Arps is working toward making key tenets of the organization’s “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America” a constitutional guarantee. But the left is pulling out everything it can to try to stop him.
The election integrity recommendations in the Blueprint are designed to safeguard the Civil Rights Movement’s goal of making sure black Americans have a voice in selecting their elected officials. In particular, there are recommendations to prevent non-citizens from voting and to ensure votes are legally cast by requiring the presentation of government-issue identification before a ballot is issued.
Chris chronicles the Michigan situation in a Daily Caller commentary.
He reports that the notion of a photo ID voter requirement is wildly popular there:
Opponents also claim a photo ID requirement is racist and amounts to voter suppression. But ACV commissioned a poll of 1,011 likely Michigan voters that found more than 75% of Michiganders support requiring a government-issued photo ID to vote. Black support is even higher at 79%. So much for racism – blacks want their votes to count!
That’s just making the left more antagonistic. “Because of the strong support, opponents are spending enormous sums of money and pulling dirty tricks to defeat voter ID,” Chris writes.
Millions of dollars are being spent to thwart Chris and his colleagues. Opponents of photo ID have even reportedly paid professional petition-gatherers to not work for Chris’s side as a means of keeping them from getting enough signatures to get on the ballot.
“They should not be allowed to game the system,” Chris remarks.
Click here to read all of Chris’s commentary – “Voter Fraud Disenfranchises Black Americans: It’s Time to Put a Stop to It” – at the Daily Caller website.
Though the leaked opinion may have made the upcoming decision a foregone conclusion, the nation eagerly awaits the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the abortion case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
Due to that leak, it’s expected that the justices will overturn the federal primacy and protection of virtually on-demand abortion created by the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973. And while many are trying to racialize the abortion issue by calling it necessary for women of color, Project 21 member Craig DeLuz says this “inadvertently reveal[s] the goal of their movement’s founders.”
In a Washington Times commentary, Craig recalls that pro-abortion activists who rally around “choice” betray that their predecessors’ “motivations were much more sinister.”
The abortion movement began as, and still largely is about, population control. And it is minority and undesirable populations that have been the target of the abortion industry.
“It is debatable whether or not Sanger actually believed in the racist agenda supported by many in the eugenics movement of her time,” Craig wrote, “but it was clearly not a deterrent.”
Putting a spin on the possible sea-change in how abortion policy may change with the expected Dobbs ruling – sending the issue back to the states, and creating 50 potentially different standards – Craig explained how this turns the entire racial argument the left uses about abortion on its head.
In Louisiana, for example, people of color make up 42% of the population but comprise 72% of abortions. The figure for Mississippi, the home of the Dobbs case, is 44% and 81%.
Read another way, it’s clear that children of color – especially black children – disproportionately have their lives ended prematurely. A change in abortion policy would put a significant dent in these numbers, meaning the lives of many black and brown children would be preserved if Roe is indeed overturned.
How can Craig compare the attitudes of racist eugenicists to the woke mobs currently championing abortion? It seems pretty obvious:
The goal of many – but not all – of the founders of the “family planning” movement was to limit the population growth of “undesirable populations.” This included people of color. Additionally, governmental and charitable efforts to promote and fund “family planning” programs have targeted low-income communities of color. And we know based on available data that women of color – especially black women – have pregnancies terminated in much higher numbers. The disparity is staggeringly high.
“Intentional or not,” Craig remarked, “the abortion industry has achieved a level of success of which the Ku Klux Klan could only have dreamed.”
To read all of Craig’s Washington Times commentary – “Supreme Court Risks Left’s Black Genocide” – click here.
In a Daily Signal commentary, Deroy noted:
Some will focus on the severe pain and death that slavery inflicted on blacks between 1619 and 1865. It would be far more useful, however, to celebrate so much that black Americans have accomplished since the original Juneteenth liberated the last of some 4 million emancipated slaves.
The people Deroy chose to highlight for commemoration in his commentary included:
If he were alive, Dr. Martin Luther King likely would argue that – while room to rise remains – his Dream has come true. Beyond these famous names, millions of black Americans use their freedom to improve themselves, their loved ones, their communities, and this nation.
“This and every Juneteenth,” he advised, “Americans of all hues should applaud black success since Emancipation rather than wallow with the critical race theorists in all the wrongs before June 19, 1865.”
Click here to read all of Deroy’s commentary – “A Perfect Day to Cheer Black Success” – at the Daily Signal website. The Daily Signal is the digital media platform of The Heritage Foundation.