Constitutional mission creep endangers America

The courts need to stop fighting those who are trying to protect us

How rich with irony.

 

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently struck down President Trump’s moratorium on travel from six terror-plagued nations because, the judges said, he exceeded his authority.

Unreal. The irony of three judges substituting their own judgment for that of the commander-in-chief on a matter of national security — and claiming it was him who exceeded constitutional authority — was, no doubt, lost on the three jurists.

Judges have no business second-guessing the legitimate, constitutional judgment calls a president has to make on a daily basis. Or if they do, the nation will be paralyzed, and in peril, as its elected chief executive must receive the belated royal blessing — or condemnation — of the courts before he or she acts to protect us.

No amount of facts, no amount of argument, no re-reading of the Constitution or the law will convince the ultra-liberal Ninth Circuit. But another appellate court, the Fourth Circuit, also ruled against the moratorium.

Here’s hoping the U.S. Supreme Court will step in and clear this up once and for all. And soon.

National security, and administrative practicality, depend on it.

We firmly believe the moratorium, and the more important preeminence of executive power in such matters, will ultimately prevail.

As noted in a Los Angeles Times article earlier this year:

“‘The exclusion of aliens is a fundamental act of sovereignty … inherent in the executive power,’ the Supreme Court said in 1950. And lest there be doubt, Congress adopted a provision in 1952 saying the president ‘may by proclamation and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens and any class of aliens as immigrants or non-immigrants’ whenever he thinks it ‘would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.’”

The courts’ injection of themselves into a clearly Executive Branch decision is not only a historical constitutional encroachment of one branch onto another, but it is inarguably a national security nightmare. While our president is tied up with black robes, our enemies are happy to exploit the delay and the weakness.

While the newspaper Roll Call reports that the numbers of both refugees and immigrants from the six nations in question have been cut in half this year — perhaps the result of Trump’s promised and long-needed increase in vetting of visa applicants — The Washington Times also writes:

“Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly sounded a loud alarm Tuesday over an ‘unprecedented spike in terrorist travel’ including to the U.S.”

“These are countries,” Kelly told Congress, “that are either unable or unwilling to help us validate the identities and backgrounds of persons within their borders.”

As the Times notes, Kelly “said he is ‘changing the culture’ at the immigration services, which has a reputation for permissiveness, and reminding officials there that they are on a first line of defense to keep out potential terrorists.

“’Rather than the idea of bringing as many refugees as you can to meet some number set by the last administration, or bring in, you know, as many visas as you can, we actually, now, are changing the culture to say, ‘Look, if you want to come to America, you convince me you are who you are and you’re coming here for a period of time, and then you’ll go home, and you won’t do anything wrong when you’re here,’” he said.

So while the administration appears to be doing what it can to protect us, the courts are fighting it all along the way.

In this legal battle, as in the war on terror, failure is not an option.

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Wed, 08/23/2017 - 02:02

Rick McKee Editorial Cartoon