Friday, October 22, 2010

Lizzie Borden

5 Degrees
Fifth Degree: Lizzie Borden is famous for being accused of hatcheting members of her family and leaving their bloody bodies in the parlor and bed.  While she was acquitted of the charges in 1893, speculation still rages about her guilt. This post is not to continue the trial that was held in Taunton in 2009 or put forth any new evidence.  Visit the Fall River Historical Society or the Lizzie Borden B&B to figure that out for yourself.  Our mission here is to connect this New England spinster to John Paul II.
George Robinson

Fourth Degree: George Robinson
Lizzie hired a dream team of lawyers to defend her, among them former Governor George Dexter Robinson.  More trial info here.

Third Degree: James Blaine
James Blaine
George Robinson was from Massachusetts, the first state with public education.  He was dedicated to excellence in public education and served schools well as US Representative and later as Governor. To read about his Governorship click here.  In 1875, when Robinson was still in the Massachusetts State House, US Speaker of the House, James Blaine proposed his amendment to the constitution.  This "Blaine Amendment" would prohibit Federal dollars from funding religious schools.  When Robinson became a US Representative in 1877, Blaine had resigned from the House and become a Senator.  Blaine continued to try to get his amendment passed.  Robinson fought for funding of text books, federal funding of student tuition, and equal funding for rich, poor, black, and white students.  Senator Blaine and Representative Robinson served in the U.S. Congress several years concurrently.

Second Degree: Jeb Bush
Bush I, Bush II, Jeb Bush
Although the Blaine Amendment did not make it into the US Constitution, many states, including Florida, liked it and 36 adopted Blaine amendments of their own.   Below is an excerpt from and article from the Pew Forum on Religion, full story here.   When Jeb Bush was Governor of Florida, he fought to overturn that state's Blaine amendments.  

The following is an excerpt from an article about the Blaine Amendments in Florida and Jeb Bush's reaction to them.
George H. W. Bush and Pope JP 2
In June 2008, a church-state watchdog organization and several other groups filed a lawsuit in Florida seeking to remove from the state's November ballot two proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution. The proposed amendments, if passed, would eliminate legal obstacles that currently prevent Florida from funding religious schools. One of the proposed amendments would permit parents to usestate-funded vouchers to send their children to private schools in Florida, including religious schools. The other amendment would repeal a Florida state constitutional provision that prohibits public funding of religious organizations. More than two-thirds of the states have similar constitutional provisions restricting state aid to religious organizations; these state constitutional provisions are collectively known as the Blaine Amendments To read an interview with Governor Jeb Bush on the subject, click here.  

First Degree: President George H.W. Bush

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