I hope it's acceptable to initiate a thread about Senator Orrin Hatch. I think Utah LDS voters need to learn the extent to which Senator Hatch has trashed the US Constitution, and at the same time understand their responsibility to seek out and support candidates who will support and uphold the Constitution. The following article I think tells a lot about Senator Hatch.
Liberal in Conservative Garb by John F. McManus, 9 October 2000 issue of The New American
"Although Utah Senator Orrin Hatch wears a cloak of conservatism, his true colors are shown when he consistently undermines the Constitution by championing liberal causes.
"On May 6, 2000, the Utah Republican Party held its convention to nominate candidates for statewide and local offices. The gathering turned out to be anything but the usual political lovefest. Four-term Senator Orrin Hatch, thought by most outsiders to be the darling of Utah's GOPers, found himself greeted by a loud chorus of heckling from many among the 3,500 delegates and 1,500 observers. Governor Mike Leavitt, similarly viewed as a GOP favorite, fared even worse. Jeering directed at him became so loud that neither he nor the individuals nominating him could be heard. The convention ultimately denied Leavitt renomination, thereby forcing him into a primary (which he eventually won). Hatch narrowly escaped the same fate.
"The distaste for Hatch focused on what many Utah residents see as his capitulation on abortion, gun ownership, and homosexuality. As they arrived at the convention, delegates were handed a letter documenting Hatch's softness on the all-important right-to-life issue. Some delegates were angered over his refusal to sign a pledge to veto judicial candidates who aren't opposed to abortion. Upset supporters of the right to own a gun claimed that the Virginia-based Gun Owners of America had correctly blasted him for supporting several measures targeting private ownership of weapons, including a ban on an assortment of weapons in a huge crime bill, controls on sales at gun shows, and enforcement of trigger locks. Others recalled that, in 1990, the American Family Association publicly criticized Hatch for supporting the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and its "funding of pornography and anti-Christian art."
Orrin Hatch was born in 1934 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Educated at Utah's Brigham Young University and the University of Pittsburgh Law School, he practiced law in Pennsylvania for several years and then settled in the Beehive State.
"In 1976, in his first try at elective office, he upset three-term incumbent Democrat Frank Moss and went to Washington as a U.S. senator. From the very start, he promised to stand tall for conservative principles, a balanced federal budget, strong national defense, strong family values, and relief from the growing inroads of taxation and regulation.
While his early record lived up to many of his promises, there were signs even during his first years in office that the labels Hatch delighted in wearing didn't match his performance. One of his first votes in the Senate came when newly inaugurated President Carter submitted the name of radical civil rights agitator Andrew Young for the post of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. During confirmation hearings, senators were reminded of Young's undeniable leftist record, including his incredible televised statement of April 13, 1970 that "it may take the destruction of western civilization to allow the rest of the world to really emerge as a free and brotherly society...." Hatch, nevertheless, voted for confirmation.
"What About the Constitution?
Hatch has always enjoyed being termed a "conservative," an increasingly meaningless categorization of politicians and their policies. But the standard by which elected officials and issues should be judged has never been unspecified conservatism. The standard for Americans, especially those honor bound to abide by its tenets, is the U.S. Constitution.
Nowhere in the venerable document, however, is there any authorization for such Hatch-supported federal programs as housing, education, welfare, agriculture subsidies, foreign aid, oil price controls, subsidized sales to Communist countries, needles for drug addicts, funding of pornographic art, federalization of local police, subsidies for unwed teenage mothers, loans for college students, television for rural residents, and day-care centers. Asked about these and similar programs, Hatch mentions his "sympathy for the downtrodden, those who get the short end of the stick."
"In 1985, a Senate bill cited the section of the Constitution (Article III, Section 2) that authorizes Congress to limit the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court — and, by extension, all federal courts — on any particular matter. A group of senators referenced this clause while attempting to bar all federal courts, including the Supreme Court, from having anything to say about prayer in the schools. Successful passage of their proposal in the full Congress would have restored voluntary prayer and Bible reading. Orrin Hatch would like to be known as a supporter of such practices, but he joined with the majority in a 62 to 36 vote that killed the measure. Then in 1988, during a similar attempt citing the same constitutional authority, Hatch actually made the motion that successfully torpedoed the effort.
"In 1986, Hatch backed the sanctions levied against U.S.-friendly South Africa. Those sanctions were a significant factor in the replacement of the government with the Marxist-Communist cadre that now controls South Africa. Move ahead a few years and consider Communist China's abominable human rights record that features forced abortion, a one child per family requirement, slave labor, religious persecution, and more. Add to this mix the Chinese government's labeling of the United States as its "number one enemy." With China an even worse abuser of human rights than South Africa was, and a sworn enemy of the U.S. besides, one might think that Orrin Hatch would be a stout-hearted opponent of pro-Chinese measures.
"But Hatch supported Most Favored Nation status for the Beijing monsters as far back as 1980, and he did so again in 1991, 1992, 1994, and 1997. In 1999, he crowned such support by siding with President Clinton's wish for China to receive U.S.-taxpayer subsidized trade under the new designation termed Normal Trade Relations.
"The Gulf War is another example of Hatch's internationalism. The Constitution grants to Congress the power to declare war. In 1991 with congressional acquiescence, President George Bush performed an end run around the Constitution by pointing to authorization from the United Nations as he launched a war against Iraq. The major purposes behind this intervention, he proudly stated, were the building of "a reinvigorated United Nations" and the creation of "a new world order." A few days before unleashing the troops, Mr. Bush asked Congress, not for a declaration of war, but for its approval of his decision to use our nation's military to implement UN resolutions. Fifty-two senators supported the President's request to circumvent the Constitution while 47 refused. Hatch was one of the ignominious 52.
"In November 1993, President Clinton and Congress approved the largest transfer of U.S. sovereignty to an international agency since our nation joined the United Nations. By a vote of 61 to 38, the Senate approved NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. History shows that economic union (which is what NAFTA entails) is regularly followed by political union. And political union is a necessary step toward full world government. Hatch voted with the majority on this sovereignty-compromising measure.
"A UN population conference meeting in Cairo in 1994 strongly advocated abortion and, for it, received wide condemnation from religious and family organizations in the United States. Yet, right on the heels of the Cairo gathering, Hatch and fellow Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) praised the UN for its Year of the Family proclamation and for the organization's overall "leadership" and efforts to "reconfirm the importance of the family."
"With the Iraq precedent to back him up, President Clinton later committed U.S. military forces to a NATO/UN-directed war in the former Yugoslavia. On July 30, 1998, the Senate entertained a one-sentence amendment to a Defense Appropriations bill seeking to reaffirm the sole war-making power granted to Congress. The measure sought to prohibit the use of the military's funds for "offensive military operations by the United States except in accordance with Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution, which vests in Congress the power to declare war and take certain other related actions." The Senate tabled (killed) this easily understood amendment by a vote of 84 to 15. Hatch voted with the majority.
"On May 25, 1999, the Senate considered an amendment to deny funds for the use of combat troops in an invasion of Yugoslavia, including Kosovo. The intent, once again, was to uphold the U.S. Constitution, which grants to Congress alone the power to declare war. But the amendment was tabled (killed) by a vote of 52 to 48, with Hatch voting with the majority. The very next day, the Senate considered a separate bill seeking to have the U.S. pull all our forces out of the former Yugoslavia by October 1, 1999. It was tabled (killed) by a vote of 77 to 21, with Hatch once again joining the interventionist majority.
Even the Press Begins to Wonder
"Orrin Hatch's deviations from his professed "conservatism" haven't gone unnoticed even by a generally favorable media. While making light of his turn to the left, Utah's Deseret News asked on March 26, 1989 how it could be that Utah's then-Representative Howard Nielson could urge fellow Republicans at a state convention to protest Hatch's support for federal child care. Reporter Lee Davidson also noted that 125 House members had also attacked Hatch for compromising with Democrats on that very issue.
"In its March 2, 1990 edition, the New York Times featured a lengthy article bearing the telling title "Orrin Hatch's Journey: Strict Conservative To Compromise Seeker." Reporter Neil Lewis focused on Hatch's political alliance and friendship with Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), whose liberalism is legendary. Lewis quoted one Washington analyst as claiming that the unstated reason behind Hatch's support for so many liberal measures stems from "a cynical calculation to buy off opponents in the Senate" who might later be counted on to back "his burning desire to be on the Supreme Court." To all of the criticism he has received, Hatch replies that he has "matured" and is "seeking to have an effect on legislation through compromise."
"In 1993, Hatch angered Massachusetts Republicans when he told the Deseret News that he wouldn't consider campaigning against Ted Kennedy's re-election. Said Hatch: "There's just too much of a personal friendship there.... I care a great deal for Ted Kennedy. He's like a brother to me."
"That brotherly relationship extends to politics to a much greater extent than most conservatives recognize. As Edwin Chen of the Los Angeles Times noted in his May 8, 1997 article, when Kennedy and Hatch team up they "produce solutions to real problems, whether the issue is AIDS, child care, summer jobs or crime." Their "solutions," of course, are not ones that any true conservative or constitutionalist would support.
Role on the Judiciary Committee
"In 1992, Hatch gave up his leadership of the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee to become the lead Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. While in that post, he supported Bill Clinton's selection of Ruth Bader Ginsburg for the Supreme Court. He termed the choice of this veteran federal appeals court judge, who is pro-abortion and a member of the world-government-promoting Council on Foreign Relations, "good news for Republicans." He also predicted that this jurist would be "unlikely to be a liberal judicial activist." But her performance on the court has been as liberal as could be imagined.
"By 1994, Hatch urged President Clinton to appoint another federal appeals court judge, Stephen Breyer, to the high court. Hatch said he told the President "he couldn't go wrong" by selecting Breyer, whom Hatch described as "more moderate" than Ruth Bader Ginsburg, his previously lauded selection for the Supreme Court. Mr. Clinton nominated Breyer, and his nomination was easily confirmed by the Senate. Breyer, like Ginsburg, is pro-abortion and a member of the CFR.
"In August 2000, Thomas L. Jipping of Washington's Free Congress Foundation issued a comprehensive report showing that Democrats are far more effective at backing judicial activists than Republicans are at backing judicially restrained justices. He indicted Republicans for "an accommodating approach that that virtually assured this result."
Jipping was especially critical of Orrin Hatch who, as chairman of the Judiciary Committee since 1995, has:
• refused to implement any of the confirmation process reforms for federal judgeships approved by his own party in 1997;
• altered his commitment to "weed out" judicial activist nominees and replaced it with simply asking for verbal guarantees that nominees will behave;
• ignored the recommendations of a Senate task force he appointed to advise him on handling controversial nominations; and
• amassed a record shared by only 12 other Republican senators of never having voted against a single Clinton nominee during the 105th Congress (1997-98).
Of course, this willingness to support Clinton nominees for the federal courts could be partially explained by his none-too-guarded desire to sit on the Supreme Court himself someday. Perhaps he hopes liberal Democrats will recall his support of their choices for the bench and return the favor. But if that were to happen, don't expect Hatch to uphold traditional values or sound constitutional principles. As he told a University of Utah audience in 1992, he "wouldn't even touch" the Roe v. Wade decision that has led to the killing of over 40 million innocent victims in the womb."