Saturday, February 9, 2013

Rep. Joe Carr demands apology from Daniel Horwitz

by Daniel Horwitz
 
Daniel Horwitz
On January 16, 2013, Rod Williams posted this article criticizing State Representative Joe Carr (R-48) for introducing House Bill 42.  (For readers who have not followed the lively debate concerning HB 42 that has taken place both on this blog and elsewhere, the bill calls for the arrest and criminal prosecution of any Federal agent who attempts to enforce certain Federal gun control laws here in the state of Tennessee.)  After noting – correctly – that HB 42 would be a clear violation of the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Rod Williams was in turn subjected to sharp criticism from several fringe members of his party.  In defense of Mr. Williams, I then posted two articles on this blog – “Rod Williams is Right About the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution” and a response to Tracy Tarum – in which I made the following three statements criticizing Representative Carr:
 
 (1) “There is absolutely no excuse for disregarding the Constitution in order to score a few cheap political points”;
 
(2) “If I were one of [Joe Carr’s] constituents, I would consider his refusal to comply with [his oath to uphold the Constitution] to be every bit as disqualifying as his belief that women who have been violently raped can’t become pregnant”; and
 
(3) In response to a hypothetical alluding to Joe Carr, I suggested that he had “introduce[d] a bill calling for the arrest of Federal agents in order to gin up support from his base in anticipation of a primary challenge to a Congressman beleaguered by a recent abortion scandal.”
 
 As a result of these criticisms, I received several email messages (copied below) from Representative Carr requesting that I refrain from “impugn[ing his] integrity by commenting without having discussed” with him his motives for filing House Bill 42.  He also asked me to “post a retraction in those publications that [I] opined about [his motives] for filing House Bill 42.”  Representative Carr then informed me that my speculation that he had introduced HB 42 solely in an effort to gin up support from his base was “more than just unfortunate it is inaccurate,” not to mention “unfounded and unsubstantiated.”  Finally, he further questioned why I had linked to “a liberal article from the Nashville Scene about a conversation [concerning the capacity of rape victims to become pregnant] that was taken out of context.”
 
In response to the above requests, I informed Representative Carr that I would be happy to post a retraction if he would “explain to me the actual reasons why [he] filed HB 42, as well as divulge the person or persons whom [he had] consulted with respect to [its] constitutionality.”  I also explained to him that I had not known “that the conversation reported in the Scene was taken out of context,” and that if he “would be willing to elucidate [his] position on the issue of rape and pregnancy further so as to place it in its proper context, I would gladly run that correction as well.”  Furthermore, I explained to him that I “seriously doubt that anybody is operating under the false impression that I consulted with [him] about this bill before questioning [his] motives.”  Finally, I noted that “[g]iven what I believe to be the obvious unconstitutionality of [his] bill, and given that [his] decision to introduce HB 42 coincided so closely with [his] announcement that [he] would seek the 4th Congressional District seat, I think that my speculation regarding [his] intentions was a far cry from “‘unfounded.’” 
 
My requests for the above clarifications were each rebuffed, and I was also accused of having “an ulterior motive apart from whether HB42 is constitutional.”  Representative Carr further informed me that he hoped that I would “change [my] mind about the use of tactics regarding politics of personal destruction.”  Thus, in an effort to clear the record to his complete satisfaction, I would like to offer the following clarification:
 
I do not know Joe Carr personally, and although I have followed much of his work, I have never had any contact with him prior to our recent email exchange.  I also did not speak with Representative Carr at any point before speculating about why he had introduced HB 42.  If anyone was operating under the impression that I knew Joe Carr or had consulted with him before criticizing him for introducing HB 42, I deeply apologize.  To set the record straight, although I am certainly not a fellow “conservative Republican” (as he put it), I also have no “ulterior motive” in this matter.  For the sake of balance, I have also been sharply critical of the Democratic Metro Council in this blog, the Tennessean and elsewhere for the protectionist regulations that the Transportation Licensing Commission has imposed upon Nashville’s taxi and limousine industries, and I have no intention of ending this criticism until the market is allowed to operate freely.
 
Having clarified that I do not know Joe Carr personally and have never met him, let me also emphasize the fact that I still have absolutely no reason to believe that his decision to introduce HB 42 was anything but a well-timed yet completely shameless political stunt.  HB 42 is a bill that is so obviously unconstitutional that only believers in “natural law” and God-given rights to firearms and high capacity ammunition clips will rise up to defend it.  It was also reported by the Tennessean and other news outlets on December 20, 2012 that Representative Carr had formed an exploratory committee to “determine the viability of a successful run” against 4th Congressional District Representative Scott DesJarlais, whose political career has probably come to a close after his multi-faceted abortion scandal became public last year.  Given that Representative Carr introduced the obviously-unconstitutional-but-apparently-very-popular HB 42 on January 15th – a mere twenty-six days after announcing he would run for Congress – the connection seems fairly clear to me.  If Joe Carr would be willing to explain to me or anyone else why I’m so off-base in this critique, however, I will continue to welcome the clarification.

Below are the email exchanges:


On Jan 26, 2013, at 7:21 AM, Joe Carr <joecarr48@gmail.com> wrote:
Mr. Horwitz, 

I hope this email finds you doing well. To my knowledge you and I have never met nor spoke. You have on several different occasions felt it necessary to comment and opine on my motives for filing House Bill 42. You do not know my motives and you can only impugn my integrity by commenting without having discussed the issue with me first. I respectfully ask that you refrain from doing so further. Your comment that I was motivated by a desire to "gin up support from his base in anticipation of a primary challenge"  is more than just unfortunate it is inaccurate.

I would be grateful if you would post a retraction in those publications that you have opined about motives my for filing House Bill 42.

Regards,
Joe Carr
State Representative District 48
205 War Memorial Building
Nashville, TN 37243
______________________________________
 On Sat, Jan 26, 2013 at 9:14 AM, Daniel Horwitz <daniel.a.horwitz@gmail.com> wrote:
Dear Representative Carr,
Thank you for your email and public service.  
 If you would be so kind as to explain to me the actual reasons why you filed HB 42, as well as divulge the person or persons whom you consulted with respect to the constitutionality of this bill, I would be more than happy to post the correction if Rod Williams accepts it for publication.  
Thanks very much,

Daniel Horwitz
Cornell University, BA 2010
Vanderbilt Law School, JD Candidate 2013
___________________________________________
 On Jan 26, 2013, at 9:42 AM, Joe Carr <joecarr48@gmail.com> wrote:
Mr. Horwitz,

You posted comments about me and my motives before contacting me or speaking with me about the bill. I will be glad to discuss why I filed the bill and who I consulted with as soon as you publish an acknowledgement that your opinions were published without having contacted me first. 

In addition I have presumed you to be a conservative republican although I don't know this to be factually correct. None the less can you explain to me the relevance of you linking a liberal article from the Nashville Scene about a conversation that was taken out of context?

Regards,

Joe Carr
______________________________________
On Jan 26, 2013, at 10:20 AM, Daniel Horwitz <daniel.a.horwitz@gmail.com> wrote:
Dear Representative Carr,

You are an elected official, and I am merely a concerned citizen.  For better or worse -- and I think for better -- public criticism comes with the territory of elected public service, and I seriously doubt that anybody is operating under the false impression that I consulted with you about this bill before questioning your motives.  With respect, I will not pursue a correction until I have some reason to believe that my speculation about your intentions was inaccurate.  As noted previously, however, if you would be so kind as to provide me with those reasons, I'd be happy to present them publicly for a larger conservative audience.  

For clarification, I am not a Republican, nor am I a conservative as that term is traditionally used today.  I did not, however, know that the conversation reported in the Scene was taken out of context, which I think is important.  Thus, if you would be willing to elucidate your position on the issue of rape and pregnancy further so as to place it in its proper context, I would gladly run that correction as well.  I also think that a whole lot of voters would appreciate it if you would precisely detail your position on abortion in the case of rape, as well as explain the reasons why you take whatever position you hold.  

Sincerely,

Daniel Horwitz
Cornell University, BA 2010
Vanderbilt Law School, JD Candidate 2013
 _____________________________________________
 On Jan 26, 2013, at 11:02 AM, Joe Carr <joecarr48@gmail.com> wrote:
Mr. Horowitz,

It was you who made an unfounded and unsubstantiated accusation as to my motives regarding HB42 and matters unrelated to the bill. It is not my responsibility to prove them wrong.

It is obvious from your response that you have an ulterior motive apart from whether HB42 is constitutional. I don't know what your motives are and at this point it doesn't matter. I will say I did expect better from a obviously very talented 3rd year law student.

I hope you change your mind about the use of tactics regarding politics of personal destruction. 

Blessings,

Joe Carr

Sent from my iPhone
____________________________________________
On Jan 26, 2013, at 12:10 PM, Daniel Horwitz <daniel.a.horwitz@gmail.com> wrote:
 Dear Representative Carr,

I have no "ulterior motives."  I simply take an interest in our state's politics, and I take seriously my elected representatives' obligation to comply with constitutional governance.

Given what I believe to be the obvious unconstitutionality of your bill, and given that your decision to introduce HB 42 coincided so closely with your announcement that you would seek the 4th Congressional District seat, I think that my speculation regarding your intentions was a far cry from "unfounded."  Again, I would welcome your clarification regarding any of the criticisms that I have levied against you, and I suspect that your constituents would as well.  

Best,

Daniel Horwitz
Cornell University, BA 2010
Vanderbilt Law School, JD Candidate 2013
Daniel Horwitz is a third year law student at Vanderbilt University Law School, where he is the Vice President of Law Students for Social Justice.  He can be contacted at daniel.a.horwitz@vanderbilt.edu.

 I  extend to Representative Carr the opportunity to respond to this blog post should he so desire. Rod

 

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1 comment:

  1. When the federal government passes unconstitutional gun control laws, then the states should pass laws like this to protect Tennesseans' constitutional rights. "shall not be infringed upon" that can not be more clear

    ReplyDelete