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Bert Dirschell

Centertown

Dear Editor:

A recent 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling should point out the importance of the president when it comes to federal judges.

Carl and Angel Larsen run a Christian filmmaking business. Three years ago, they hoped to include the service of making videos of marriages, “to convey messages that promote aspects of their sincerely held religious beliefs.” They were concerned that they would run into problems because of the Minnesota Human Rights Act’s requirement that they serve same-sex couples. The couple sued the Minnesota Department of Human Rights saying they, as Christians, should not face jail time and fines if they refused to film same-sex marriages.

In September 2017, U.S. District Court Judge John Tunheim, a Clinton appointee, ruled that the Larsens could not even sue the Minnesota Department of Human Rights for relief from this regulation. They appealed. Last month, a three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overruled Judge Tunheim. It ruled that the couple does has a right to ask the lower court to prevent the state from enforcing a human rights law against them, based on their First Amendment right to free speech. Judge David Stras, a Trump appointee, and Judge Bobby Shepard, a Bush appointee, ruled in favor of the couple. Judge Jane Kelly, an Obama appointee, voted against them.

Be sure that when you vote in 2020 you consider whether you want a president who appoints federal judges who think that we should be as free as possible from government intervention in our lives, or if you want an elite group of PC judges who believe government should have the power to tell you what to think and how to live.

Inconvenient facts: If federal spending had only grown at the rate of inflation since 2007, prior to the start of the last recession, actual 2018 income would have provided us with a surplus of $70 billion. Instead run-amok federal spending handed us a $780 billion deficit. (Inflation adjusted national defense spending decreased by $60 billion during that period). Thank you Mel Hancock, the author of a constitutional amendment, approved by voters in 1980, limiting increases in state spending. We need someone at the federal level who is more interested in the fate of our nation than in handing out free stuff so that they stay in power.

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