Whoops, There Goes Melania’s Beautiful Blue Dress

immigrationJewish émigrés turned away from Miami and returned to Germany, 1935

by Mary W Maxwell, PhD, LLB

Boy, was I excited at the Trump takeover. The Inauguration was beautiful. The First Lady’s blue dress made me proud – and hopeful.

My joy lasted a full week.  Now the President says he is going to keep Muslims out.

Jeepers.

In the first place, a president is not in charge of immigration.  Go, ye all, to the Source. That is, of course, Section 8 of Article I of the dear American Constitution wherein are enumerated the 18 “grants of power” to Congress.

May I quote the relevant one out of the 18?

“The Congress shall have power to… establish a uniform rule of naturalization…”

Can law get any clearer than that? If you go to Article II, which specifies the duties of the president, you won’t find anything that contradicts that grant of power in Article I or competes with it in any way. Trust me.

The DAPA Case

On June 23, 2016, the US Supreme Court — with only eight members, following the February death of Antonin Scalia — reached a 4-4 decision in the DAPA case. (Note: being a split decision, it does not set precedent.)

The case was about DAPA, a “deferred action program” in which President Obama sought to allow a 3-year deferral to mass deportation of illegal immigrants. SCOTUS’s ruling will send the case back to a federal district judge Hanen in Brownsville, Texas for a consideration on the merits.

The plaintiffs were several states that claimed it would cost them money to issues drivers’ licences to the immigrants, but of course the case is also a test of presidential overreach (or as I prefer to call it, treason, by way of assaulting our ruler, the Constitution).

Am I anti-immigration for Mexicans?  Am I pro-immigration for Muslins? It does not matter. All that matters is that the parchment not end up in the waste basket.

Religion As the Basis for Judging a Person’s Legal Status

In Islamic law, status matters a lot. For instance, your gender status matters. If you are female, your sworn testimony as a witness is worth only half that of a male witness.

In Israeli law, too, your status as a member of the Jewish community — determined by your religion — makes you eligible for some privileges not allowed to Gentiles.

Other countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Malaysia, also offer varying legal distinctions based on a person’s status.

The United States, like Australia, has LEGAL EQUALITY as a main aspect of its concept of “rule of law.” Everyone is the same when seeking a benefit or when asking for protection against a harm-doer.

I’m sorry to say that equality before the law has very much fallen down, in actual judicial practices, lately (see Bill Windsor’s “Lawless America” videos), but that’s another story. We still can proclaim equality as absolutely established law.

Here is the wording of Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, ratified in 1868, after the Civil War:

Amendment XIV, Section 1

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Religious Freedom

Which  “privileges or immunities” must not be “abridged” in the United States? Easy, just rattle off the 10 amendments known as the Bill of Rights, which came into force in 1791. In regard to religion, the First Amendment says:

“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.”

So is Congress threatening to make a law that would prohibit the free exercise of religion? No. It is the president who is saying that he will keep Muslims out.

I suppose Trump is thereby indicating that all Muslims who are already US citizens or resident are some kind of undesirables – a very stupid idea for which Congress could easily impeach him.

But a president’s proclamation against the immigration of Muslims should be dealt with as a separation-of-powers matter not as a First Amendment matter. Trump plainly has no authority, none whatsoever, to rule out the immigration of any persons based on their religion.

OK, Don’t Trust Me

Above, I promised that you would not find in Article II of the American Constitution any hidden powers. Recall that during the George W Bush administration, Berkeley law professor John Yoo invented, out of whole cloth, some new theory of the Unitary inherent executive power.

And Elena Kagan, before she was appointed to the US Supreme Court, advocated a takeover, by the president, of all the bureaucracies (the Cabinet portfolios). Really it makes you wonder.

But why trust me? Although I have good intentions, I may have got it wrong. So here is Article II, stripped only of a few points in its Section 1 that specify a person’s eligibility to attain the office of president:

Section 1

…. Before he enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation:– “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Section 2.

The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States;

he may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices, and he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.

He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law:

but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments.

The President shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session.

Section 3.

He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them,

and in case of disagreement between them, with respect to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper; he shall receive ambassadors and other public ministers; he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and shall commission all the officers of the United States.

Section 4.

The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

Blue Dress City

Dear Mrs Trump, would you please assert yourself on the home front, in the fashion of your excellent wardrobe, by advising Hubby that it would be ever so nice if he would raise our spirits, as he did on the campaign trail?

This would mean not just saying “Make America great again economically,” but saying “Keep America great by kissing the Constitution.”  One kiss a day ought to do it.

Also please remind him that did not a certain Slovene woman immigrate to US’s sunny shores, receiving her green card in 2001, he would probably not be where he is today.

melania

As for your being the cover girl on this week’s Mexican edition of Vanity Fair, well that’s a good sign that “the wall” is only a joke.

Good. Fine. We all enjoy a joke.

  • Mary W Maxwell is the author of Marathon Bombing: Indicting the Players.
Photo credit: refugee ship: TheAtlantic.com
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Comments

  1. Kings out! Presidents out! Customs officers, lock them up!

    Note from “The Hill” before Trump was elected:

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he would not act on Donald Trump’s proposal to bar Muslims from entering the United States if the GOP front-runner is elected president next year.
    McConnell declined to speculate on Trump’s chances of winning the race but shot down any chance of moving a bill to ban Muslim travel to the United States.

    “We’re not going to follow that suggestion that this particular candidate made. It would prevent the president of Afghanistan from coming to the United States. The king of Jordan couldn’t come to the United States. Obviously we’re not going to do that.”

  2. From the Executive order:

    […] to ensure the proper review and maximum utilization of available resources for the screening of foreign nationals, and to ensure that adequate standards are established to prevent infiltration by foreign terrorists or criminals, pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens from countries referred to in section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12), would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of such persons for 90 days from the date of this order (excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas). (link)

    But no specific mention of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen … let me repeat that … Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

    But wait – aren’t they the seven countries mentioned by Wesley Clark? (only Lebanon replaced with Syria). This has been posted several times here …

    * https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LTdx1nPu3k&feature=youtu.be

    Even more interesting is that these seven countries were not mentioned by President Trump but were listed as ‘countries of concern’ under the former administration?

    Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act

    “In February of 2016 the Department of Homeland Security announced that it was continuing its implementation of the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 with the addition of LIBYA, SOMALIA, and YEMEN as three countries of additional concern.

    DHS: “limiting Visa Waiver Program travel for certain individuals who have traveled to these countries.” DHS noted “the three additional countries designated today join IRAN, IRAQ, SUDAN and SYRIA as countries subject to restrictions for Visa Waiver Program travel for certain individuals.” ”

    Did you spot the seven countries? And did you notice the dates? Perhaps President Donald Trump is merely highlighting and enforcing sensible laws already in place under the PREVIOUS administration to actually “keep the people safe”.

    Read more …
    * https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2017/01/28/epic-is-team-trump-baiting-liberal-media-and-refugee-protesters-by-using-obamas-own-policy/

    If you care to look at the NYT link, President Trump mentions “radical islamic terrorists” … The NYT translates that to “ordering that families fleeing the slaughter in Syria be indefinitely blocked from entering the United States”.

    • Dear Fish, I think the term “Visa waiver program” is lightweight stuff. I could be wrong. I think it means some people don’t need a visa. We Aussies are given a waiver by some countries, I think.

      I wonder if someone higher than Trump thought up the ban and that its purpose is to sow anxiety. Remember when Australia about a year ago said that PR (permanent residence) here no longer means PR.

      Paging Dr Day. Dr Richard Day, please pick up the white courtesy phone….

  3. Trump’s intention was repeatedly spelled out:
    http://edition.cnn.com/2015/12/07/politics/donald-trump-muslim-ban-immigration/index.html

    So what is the criteria for immigrating to the US ? When & how was it established ? It appears to me that “the establishment of religion” clause only applies to extant citizens but then I don’t see the constitution as anything more than an attempt to curry favour/consolidate power.

    Political correctness can be used as a means of holding most “western-style” governments to ransom. Under Trump the game might not be so easy.

    • Berry, I agree that the freedom-of-religion bit is only for cirizens.
      Yet it is still unAmerican to say “We won’t take any of a partcular breed” as it is a part of Yankee philosophy that each person should be looked at as an individual, not as a member of his ethnic group.

      My beef is with “ultra vires” acts by the executive. For example, Trump said on the campaign trail that he would chop Obamacare. I personally would love to see Obamacare chopped but it was Congress, not Obama, that enacted the legislation known as Affordable Health Care (nicknamed “Ombamacare”.)
      It is not Trump’s to chop.

      A prime minister in Oz has much more power than a president of US. If The Donald wants to stay constitutional (and apparently he doesn’t) he could still acomplish a lot from the bully pulpit.

      John F Kennedy achieved things he did not even mean to achieve — just by his attractiveness. Role-modelling is such a huge part of any public job. (Failing to be a role model is also pretty influential, no?)

  4. Cheryl Dean says:

    I was happy that a non politician was elected president. I thought Trump would actually “drain the swamp”, but it seems now that he is either part of the swamp or he is just plain deranged. What he has done yesterday and today, on the premise that it is to make Americans safe, is nothing but absolute rubbish, a big lie! If he was an intelligent, decent and honest person he would know what both the CIA and the FBI routinely do to Americans and to immigrants from all over,, and he would put an end to that.That would clearly make America much safer against “terrorism”, since the FBI/CIA are the biggest terror groups in the world. I have no respect for Trump now. I see him as just another political idiot, He has shown his true colours already. He could have done so much good.

    • Cheryl, you are going to be in seventh heaven when you find out how many DoJ personnel are caught up in the Pizzagate affair.

      They are going to be on the other side of the mugshot camera.

      Yay!

  5. If you go to Office of the Federal Register, ofr.gov, you won’t find the text of the ban on immigration of persons from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, but a private website carries a draft:
    https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2017-02095.pdf

    I have read that even a holder of a green-card is not allowed to enter the US today if he is from those nations. This is so peculiar. Anyway, Judge Ann Donnely seems to have put a stay on the ban.

    I can’t find any complaints from Congresspersons about the lack of preseidential prerogative in this area. (I’m waiting…) Can it be that people think Trump’s assertive personality now makes him a legitimate dictator? Like we’re waiting to see what he bans next?

    In case anybody wants to know who the ruler of the USA is, I can be clear on that: the ruler is The Law.

  6. I read this on theverge.com:

    “Last night, a Federal District court issued an emergency stay on deportations for passengers affected by President Donald Trump’s executive order banning entry to the US from seven majority-Muslim countries. Since that first decision, three other courts have issued their own rulings, putting a halt to deportations for those detained at airports across the country.

    “Despite the rulings, there appears to be some uncertainty surrounding the judicial orders. The New York Post reports that some customs agents have ignored the orders, and have not allowed access to detainees. We’ll update this report as more information becomes available.”

  7. Further on the David Koresh thing. By accident I just came upon this paragraph (in an unidentified source) and I don’t by any means vouch for it, almost the opposite. But since it mentions Koresh, here i is:

    “Smirnov gave a series of closed meetings in Northern Virginia, starting on 3/17/93, to the FBI, CIA, DIA, and ARPA concerning Russian developments with a device that allegedly implanted thoughts in a subject’s mind. The FBI was considering using this device to implant the voice of God in David Koresh’s mind, telling him to surrender.”

    Gee, if sent through the air maybe it would have reached anyone on the ground and got a few FBI boys to surrender!

    • speculator247 says:

      I’ve been hearing about such technologies for quite a number of years and believe it has been used in some more or less minor false flag and other events. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if such a series of meetings took place and discussed this very thing.

  8. That photo of a bejeweled Melania Trump is interesting … hardly in good taste at any time, whatever the forum. I wonder what ‘fashion’ agency actually came up with the concept for that photo shoot.

    More interesting is the fact that it was originally done for the magazine GQ in April 2016. That article itself on Melania is actually quite interesting – quite neutral, very insightful and informative.

    http://www.gq.com/story/melania-trump-gq-interview

    Even more interesting is why it was suddenly recycled for the cover of the MEXICAN (no less!) issue of Vanity Fair at THIS time, February 2017 ?!! Could it have something to do with the fact that …

    “The story and photo were recycled from GQ’s April 2016 issue. GQ and Vanity Fair are owned by the same parent company, Condé Nast, but President Trump especially loathes VF and its editor, Graydon Carter, with whom he has feuded for years.”

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2017/01/27/bejeweled-melania-trump-turns-up-badly-timed-vanity-fair-mexico-cover/97150264/

    Sounds like a classic bit of gossip ‘journalism’ – integrity at its finest.

    I’m sure Melania has learnt her lesson. 🙂

  9. I would say that the US & Aus are being held together by the IDEA that everyone is the same when seeking a benefit or when asking for protection against a harm-doer . ALL societies are hierarchial, the more covert the pecking order, the harder the fall.

    So-called multiculturalism was invented as a means of holding the Roman empire together. Pseudo religious rituals serve to consolidate power;genuine conviction, in any shape or form, is bound to do the reverse.

    Trump was pretty clear about his position throughout the electoral process. If he had any real intention of dismantling the US empire he’d be addressing the massacre of the Branch Davidians:

    • Lotsa data there, Berry. Thanks.

      At 30 minutes he says it was a very windy day and the other guy says ‘Yeah they waited for the windiest day of the year.” I don’t think they had to wait. I believe they “do” wind and they did it in Adelaide on July 1, 2009.

      Waco is one of the mind-control capitals of the US, FWIW.

  10. If the taxpayers spend the money for a horrible wall, how will that have any effect on immigration if the Customs officers at the borders are obeying “secret directives”?

    Or if there develops an over-the-wall airline route, or an around-the-wall boat route? Should we even mention a tunnel route?

    And what if Americans want to escape to Mexico, following some disaster. It will be Oof, Blam, Ouch, as they bang up against the stupid wall.

    • Berry, your comment on this please. Trump was CONSISTENT during the campaign, insofar as he consistently said certain things. But many of his sayings were inconsistent with one another.I feel pretty sure that is a really alarming sign. A reasonable person does not do that.

      The only appointment Trump has made that pleases me is RFK, Jr on vax, although RKF, Jr never says “We’re talkin’ genocide, Folks.”

      We ARE talkin; genocide, Folks. Gahd, let’s not be mealy-mouthed about it.

      • A lot of One Nation chants are also, as my Dad used to say, “half-baked”.

        The problem, as I see it, is the PEOPLE who are looking for a pat answer, a quick fix. There’s always going to be some charlie or other who’s prepared to take on the role of an ersatz saviour

Trackbacks

  1. […] MARY MAXWELL re current affairs in USA – religion, freedom, legality, Constitution and more. Her bottom line? “Good. Fine. We all enjoy a joke.” https://gumshoenews.com/2017/01/29/whoops-there-goes-melanias-beautiful-blue-dress/ […]

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