Tags: Immigration | congress | mueller | pelosi | reagan | schumer

Friends of Democracy, Rule of Law Owe Trump Allegiance

Friends of Democracy, Rule of Law Owe Trump Allegiance

President Donald Trump speaks during a presentation ceremony of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the East Room of the White House, in Washington, Friday, Nov. 16, 2018. Attending the ceremony are U.S. Supreme Court Justices, back left to right, Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch and Elena Kagan. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

By Monday, 14 January 2019 03:16 PM Current | Bio | Archive

The attacks on the president are actually assaults on democracy and the rule of law.

The basic principles of government in the U.S. are supposed to be the sovereignty of the American people and adherence to that rule of law.

Both of these have dramatically eroded in the last few decades. Our nation is now a very different one from what the Framers conceived.

This loss of what we once were is painful. The perception that the American people are somehow being deprived of their birthright is the explanation for the surprise 2016 victory of Donald J. Trump.

Those who have succeeded in altering the nature of the nation are reluctant to surrender power, and thus the claim that somehow, presumably interference by a powerful foreign intervener (Russia!) unscrupulously led to Trump’s victory.

This idea is what led to the appointment of Robert Mueller, as U.S. special counsel, with a mandate to expose such interference and determine whether the Trump campaign willingly benefited from it.

The fact that so many of the special counsel’s prosecutions and convictions have had nothing to do with such collusion and interference is yet another shameful example of how the law is twisted to serve partisan ends

Perhaps the now millions spent in pursuit of the prosecution of those surrounding Mr. Trump will lead to a needed reexamination of whether such uncontrolled prosecutors should be permitted to exist in the first place.

The special counsel’s probe, an investigation prompted by a spurious set of assertions financed by the unscrupulous Hillary Clinton campaign — the famous Steele dossier —has for two years, undermined a legitimately elected American president.

It is a shameful episode in our overly partisan politics.

Similarly disgraceful is the inability of the federal government even to be able to come up with a budget to fund the entire government, as we are experiencing the longest "shutdown" in our history, although this shutdown affects only a fraction of the government, and has little immediate impact on any but the 800,000 federal workers impacted.

The fact that there are 800,000 "non-essential" federal employees is one of the clearest signs that the people have lost control of their government.

One is left wondering just whose interests those 800,000 non-essential people serve.

This serves as proof that the federal government — what its critics call the federal leviathan, or the bureaucracy, or the deep state could use some profound and effective restructuring — and reduction.

An equally serious problem for the rule of law is the huge number of undocumented foreign nationals residing in the country, and doing so in flagrant disregard of our immigration laws.

Estimates range to up to more than 20 million such individuals, and if that’s right, then roughly one out of 18 persons in the U.S. are here in violation of law.

This is an intolerable situation.

Yet U.S. House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., minority leader tell us that this is a "manufactured crisis" by the president to appease his bigoted base.

It is no such thing.

Our porous southern border, which, if the border patrol and our law enforcement officials are to be believed, is the root cause of much of our illegal immigration and related criminal drug and human trafficking, must be sealed.

Mr. Trump’s pledge to do that must be allowed to succeed if we are to continue have any sort of immigration laws at all. The president would be well within his rights to declare a national emergency and seal the border. A number of left-leaning law professors have so conceded.

If he undertakes such a plan, however, it is likely that lower federal courts, staffed with judges with little regard for the traditional rule of law, would, initially at least, frustrate it, as they have done with previous Trump initiatives. The president would eventually be upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, but that would take time.

It would be preferable for Congress and the president to work out a compromise, thus avoiding a court challenge.

The judicial branch is now also roiled by the possibility that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who has missed several days of Supreme Court oral arguments because of recovery from cancer surgery, may not be on the court for much longer.

If, as expected, Mr. Trump replaces her with a conservative, this will dramatically shift the balance of the high court in a direction more consistent with tradition and the rule of law and would lead to a confirmation battle that would make the explosive Kavanaugh proceedings look tame.

Mr. Trump, like Ronald Reagan before him, is poised to effect profound change in America, and bring us back to something closer to the polity our Framers contemplated.

Friends of the rule of law, and of representative democracy, should be doing everything possible to support him.

Stephen B. Presser is the Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History Emeritus at Northwestern’s Pritzker School of Law, the Legal Affairs Editor of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, and a contributor to The University Bookman. He graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School, and has taught at Rutgers University, the University of Virginia, and University College, London. He has often testified on constitutional issues before committees of the United States Congress, and is the author of "Recapturing the Constitution: Race, Religion, and Abortion Reconsidered" (Regnery, 1994) and "Law Professsors: Three Centuries of Shaping American Law" (West Academic, 2017). Presser was recently appointed as a Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy at the University of Colorado's Boulder Campus for 2018-2019. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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Loss of what we once were is painful. The perception that the American people are somehow being deprived of their birthright is the explanation for the surprise 2016 victory of Donald J. Trump.
congress, mueller, pelosi, reagan, schumer
Monday, 14 January 2019 03:16 PM
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