Bans, Russia and Trump Tweets

Reading the news this past week, I’m left wondering who is actually in charge of the country? It’s an odd feeling to have seeing signs that the country you’re living in is actually being coordinated by a loose group of people who may or may not understand truly how government works. I’ve found that BBC News does a good job of covering American topics without a lot of bias, you may feel differently, but the sources in this post are all from BBC News.

On Tuesday, Virginia’s U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema issued a preliminary injunction on the travel ban because it violated the U.S. Constitution in what amounted to a “Muslim ban”. Despite the fact that those words weren’t implicitly written in the travel ban from 7 middle eastern countries, those countries are overwhelmingly Muslim with a very small contingent being other religions.

In her 22-page ruling, the Virginia judge cited several of Mr Trump’s campaign statements including those in which he promised to create a “Muslim ban” if he were elected president. “The president himself acknowledged the conceptual link between a Muslim ban and the EO (executive order),” Judge Brinkema wrote. She also criticised the president’s statements that persecuted Christians may be permitted entry despite the ban, which she said amounts to a religious test. She also referenced a Fox News interview in which former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Trump adviser, said that the president wants a “Muslim ban” and that he had been instructed by Mr Trump to put together a commission to determine “the right way to do it legally”. Judge Brinkema sharply criticised lawyers for the justice department, who she said did not present any evidence except for the president’s executive order. “Maximum power does not mean absolute power,” she wrote. “Every presidential action must still comply with the limits set” by the separation of powers laid out in the US Constitution.

SOURCE: Trump travel ban hit by new legal setback | BBC News

As if the news coverage and protests on the travel ban weren’t enough to keep us on our toes, Michael Flynn announced that he was resigning as National Security Advisor this past Monday. Only 24 days or so on the job, there has been controversy surrounding this guy regarding his son and Pizzagate weeks prior to his appointment by President Trump. Now he is allegedly involved with conducting phone calls with the Russian Ambassador over the Obama Administrations actions towards the 35 Russian intelligence officers in December. He claimed he couldn’t recall or remember such events, something right out of the Watergate playbook.

Mr Flynn is said to have misled officials about his call with Russia’s ambassador before his own appointment. It is illegal for private citizens to conduct US diplomacy. US reports said earlier the White House had been warned about the contacts last month and had been told Mr Flynn might be vulnerable to Russian blackmail. The national security adviser is appointed by the president to serve as his or her chief adviser on international affairs and defence.

[…] In his first public comments about the controversy, President Trump tweeted on Tuesday: “The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington? Will these leaks be happening as I deal on N Korea etc?”

SOURCE: Michael Flynn: Trump’s national security adviser resigns | BBC News

Do I need to go into detail over the fact that Trump is having an issue with the leaks coming out of Washington when he himself tweets out information that no previous President would have dared send out? I’m a proponent for transparency, but using Twitter as your platform of choice to assist with transparency is eliminating a large group of Americans that don’t have or can’t afford the Internet.  Are we on the verge of our centuries “Watergate” scandal? Time will tell, but the signs are all there and the actions of the White House now will have a huge impact on the mid-term elections in 2018.

From inauguration to full-blown scandal and a high-level resignation in 24 days. That simply has to be some kind of record. Donald Trump never does anything small. If his administration is going to have a political crisis, why waste any time? Mr Flynn has now been cut loose but that may not be enough to staunch the bleeding. Congressional Democrats – and perhaps some Republicans – will want to find out who was informed about Mr Flynn’s contradictory stories and why nothing was done earlier. How far up the chain of command does it go? All of this has some observers dusting off language from the mother of all presidential scandals, Watergate. What did the president know, and when did he know it?

SOURCE: Michael Flynn: Trump’s national security adviser resigns | BBC News

The tweets of the President go a long way in demonstrating that his operating knowledge of the Constitution is limited and he doesn’t have a full understanding of how the systems of government truly work. If he did, he would understand that an Executive Order is subject to the same checks and balances as any law passed by the Congress and it’s the Judiciary that determines constitutionality when a case is PRESENTED to them, never before.

Day to day, it’s the 94 District Courts which deal with interpretation of US laws, treaties, and public officials – powers devolved to them from the Supreme Court. But the courts do not offer opinions on government policy unless they are asked – they only interpret law when a case is brought before them. The other two branches of government make and enforce the laws, and the judicial branch interprets the laws when there is a dispute. That is the issue here – a presidential executive order has all the force of law, and is subject to the same checks.

SOURCE: Taking on Trump: Is the US facing a constitutional crisis? | BBC News

checksandbalancesus

As the Constitution states: The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made…  US Constitution, Article III (2)

Someone should send President Trump a copy of the U.S. Constitution so that he may reference it before singing anymore Executive Orders. With all the negativity that has surrounded this administration the last four weeks, one thing is for sure, we’re living through what will likely be a dark time in our countries history.

5 thoughts on “Bans, Russia and Trump Tweets

  1. Trump had the best line ever in his presser…”leaks are real, news is fake”…Damn I love that he explains so much about him. I think we could be heading for a crisis but the GOP will have to grow a spine first. Have a good Friday and be well be safe…chuq

  2. I’ve been reading The Guardian for unbiased news, but will add the BBC to my daily reads list. I like your post and your point. 45 is a disaster for many reasons, but his lack of understanding about how government works is what worries me the most. Of course, sending him a copy of The U.S. Constitution is a great idea in theory, IF he can read and understand it. So far I haven’t seen any indication that he could do that.

  3. What you are describing is concerning. It’s the byproduct of an electorate bent on getting a Washington outsider. That wouldn’t have been so bad had he actually shown a willingness to learn the things a junior high civics class teaches. It makes me wonder – does he make this choice thinking he knows everything or simply that his decisions are above the law?

    • He thinks he knows everything trying to apply business experience to something that isn’t even close to a business. He’s floundering along with the people around him. It’s really concerning.

  4. The BBC is ok but is certainly oversimplifying things. The pause in immigration was not because of religion but rather because none of the countries named kept accurate and reliable records on their citizens which made vetting almost impossible. In addition, those specific countries were found by both President Trump’s administration and President Obama’s administration as including training areas for jihadis or for being hot spots for terrorism. Other intelligence only available to the President is one reason why he has plenary power over immigration. That leads to the next point, judicial overreach. When one branch of our government believes that it is superior to the other two branches we have a problem. This one has been growing slowly since Marbury v. Madison in which the court seized more power for itself than the Constitution granted…and got away with it! Subsequent decisions have favored the ruling (of course) and modified it outward.
    Our government now operates with very little deference to the Constitution. As a matter of fact, some hard liners call this a post-Constitutional era. Quite honestly, if you sit down and read the Constitution and compare it to the form of government we have today, they do have a point. Non-elected agency personnel put out reams of rules and regulations which have the force of law, the Federal government has taken marriage, education, voting, and everything else it possibly could away from the states. Our founders thought the strongest branch would be congress but in truth it has become the weakest and our fates are decided by four or five people wearing black robes.
    Something is wrong with this picture!

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