Trump Creates a Constitutional Crisis in His First Week in Office


 

 

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, adoptedin 1791, reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

These forty-five words encompass the most basic of American rights: freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right of assembly, and the right of petition.   We have a Constitutional Crisis when the President of the United States issues an executive order that violates the most basic of American rights, freedom of religion.  That’s exactly what Donald Trump promised to do during his campaign, and what he has now done during his first week in office.

CNN reported that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the agency which oversees Customs and Border Protection, did not even know about the executive order until it was being released to the public. Nor did its lawyers, who did not do a legal analysis of it until after it was in effect. DHS lawyers reportedly determined that it did not apply to green card holders and permanent residents, but the White House – led by Steve Bannon – overruled that objection and kept the restrictions on green card holders in place.

Several judges put an immediate stay on deporting legitimate green card holders stuck in airports on Saturday night and ordered those still detained have the right to access lawyers. “But the situation got even more bizarre and Orwellian on Sunday: CBP officials at some airports – in direct violation of the court orders – were reportedly still refusing lawyer access and apparently not responding to congressional representatives who were trying to figure out what was going on.”

As MSNBC’s Chris Hayes wrote: “$64,000 question is: are they being told to violate the court order by the White House?” If the White House is, in fact, directing DHS and CBP to violate a crystal clear court order, the rule of law has completely broken down and we are in a truly unprecedented situation here.

In the face of the massive protests, on Sunday night, new DHS secretary John Kelly released a statement saying all permanent residents will be let in the country, yet there was still no word from lawyers on the ground whether it is actually being obeyed.

The White House, meanwhile, is still pretending that its executive order is not technically a “Muslim ban”. Beyond the obvious fact that Trump campaigned on such a ban, his crony Rudy Giuliani laid those questions to rest on Fox News late Saturday night, claiming Trump asked him to figure out how to make his Muslim ban campaign promise “legal” – confirming it’s a Muslim ban in all but name.

No matter your political views, the fact that the White House is attempting to circumvent legal advice, install dubious appointees to incredible powerful national security positions and violate court orders is outrageous and despicable, so let’s be clear: “Congress needs to quickly move towards impeachment if this is true.”

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From New York’s JFK airport to San Franscisco’s airport,

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people across America are protesting the violation of the most fundamental of American rights.  Imagine the outrage an American citizen would feel if they were refused admission to their country because of their religion.

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Trump’s ban—which targets nationals from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen—is affecting people on pretty much every possible scale and corner of the internet. On the macro scale, BBC reports that Google has issued a recall to 100 of its traveling employees to return home, lest they be blocked from the country by zealous (i.e., accurate) execution of Trump’s orders. Microsoft, which, like much of the tech sector, relies on the work of 1st and 2nd-generation immigrants to power its success, issued a statement warning shareholders of the impact of the ban on its business. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg issued a long statement outlining his concerns with Trump’s actions, writing, “Expanding the focus of law enforcement beyond people who are real threats would make all Americans less safe by diverting resources, while millions of undocumented folks who don’t pose a threat will live in fear of deportation.”

On a more human scale, a number of refugees have already been detained at JFK Airport, and even more have been blocked from boarding flights bound for the U.S. Many of these were students with green cards who had the bad luck to be traveling abroad when Trump’s order was signed, while others were experts looking to lend their abilities to medical research fields. According to The New York Times, lawyers for at least one refugee hopeful—an Iraqi man who worked as a translator for the U.S. military—were told “Call Mr. Trump” after asking who to contact about securing freedom for their client.

The ACLU has already lodged a lawsuit in support of those detained by the ban. John McCain and Lindsey Graham issued a joint statement:

“We fear this executive order will become a self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism.”  They indicated that the ban “may do more to help terrorist recruitment than improve our security.”
Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker said Sunday the administration should immediately make revisions to the executive order.
“We all share a desire to protect the American people, but this executive order has been poorly implemented, especially with respect to green card holders,” said Corker. “The administration should immediately make appropriate revisions, and it is my hope that following a thorough review and implementation of security enhancements that many of these programs will be improved and reinstated.”

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Not surprisingly, Trump attacked McCain and Graham, through Twitter.  Instead of addressing their constitutional concerns, Trump accused the veteran senators of “looking to start World War III.

Republicans defending the executive order pointed to an exception for people already in transit and argued that some elements, including the religious minority preference, would not immediately be implemented. But as cable news footage brought scenes Saturday of chaos at airports around the country, where business travelers, students and even legal U.S. residents were being barred entry, other Republicans began weighing in.

Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) explained, “I guess I understand what his intention is, but unfortunately the order appears to have been rushed through without full consideration. You know, there are many, many nuances of immigration policy that can be life or death for many innocent, vulnerable people around the world.”  Dent said he was contacted Saturday by a constituent whose family members were turned away early in the morning at Philadelphia International Airport. Six family members who had secured visas and even bought a house in Pennsylvania arrived on a Qatar Airways flight but were turned back within hours, he said.

Leaders around the world came out against the action. German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Trump that the global fight against terrorism was no excuse for banning people from Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

 

patriotism

Martin Niemöller is perhaps best remembered for the quotation:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

We are witnessing a Constitutional Crisis.  Trump is responsible.  Every American who fails to speak out is complicit.  Edmund Burke said:

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. 
 

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13 thoughts on “Trump Creates a Constitutional Crisis in His First Week in Office

Add yours

  1. With all of the reading you do everyday you have probably come across articles detailing how groups are already setting up ways to get Trump impeached. He is truly a sick person – I only worry about the damage he does before that happens. After that I worry about that very disgusting Pence. This is going to be a tough battle.

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    1. Pat,
      I know and think its only a question of time, and you’re right to worry about Pence, but he still won’t be as bad as Trump.

      Like

      1. Actually I watched him on that day but did not associate the Russian hacking and odd stuff happening in communications and events around the country at that time.
        I soon started seeing connections and started becoming vocal about it to whoever would listen.
        I’m now waiting for the Political adults and professionals to put a stop to this outrageous challenge to the Constitution. This is so wrong on so many angles I cant believe it is true.

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  2. Just one constitutional crisis? I am not an expert, but I see this whole ‘cluster-####’ of an administration as a constitutional crisis, beginning with an illegal election.

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  3. Melania is a prostitutional crisis (see naked pictures of the Slovenian all over the internet – “modeling”).

    And, according to Wikipedia, Islam is 2.4% of the Slovenian population, so there is a reasonable chance that she is one of the people her husband detests.

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  4. Acting AG will not defend illegal ban in court. Take that you illegal peons in the WH.

    Head of Homeland Security found out about the ban when an aid showed him Drumpf signing order on tv. Hell of a way to run a railroad.

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  5. priceless – text from a photo of a woman’s sign posted on facebook.

    2/3 of trump’s wives were immigrants….proving once again we need immigrants to do jobs most americans wouldn’t do.

    that said, it appears that even malaria has her limits. given all of the pics of his round mouth, it is quite possible the blotus is much bigger than we could even imagine and that is the one job he is doing himself.

    Like

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