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Shapiro Blows Hot Air In Immigration Debate

by Dave Ball
February 10, 2017

Josh-Shapiro1The public debate over the temporary moratorium on immigrants from seven countries closely linked to terrorist organizations continues to escalate.  As it does, the discussion moves further away from fact and largely into the realm of ideological discourse and, in the case of recent statements made by Pennsylvania’s Attorney General, into fantasy land.

The facts are straight forward.  On January 27th, President Trump issued an Executive order placing a temporary moratorium on persons from seven nations entering the United States.  He did so because the seven nations cited are closely linked to the export of terrorism and, in the judgement of his administration, the United States lacked sufficient controls to adequately vett those seeking entrance to assure that potential terrorists were not entering this country.  This was necessary, in large measure, because the previous administration did not take adequate precautions to assure this nation’s safety.  The moratorium would stay in place until adequate controls were established.  This is not only a reasonable action but a very basic constitutional duty of the President, one ignored to an alarming degree by President Trump’s predecessor.

The President’s authority for such action is unambiguous.  “The exclusion of aliens is a fundamental act of sovereignty…inherent in the executive power” said the US Supreme Court in 1950.  In 1952, Congress passed an act (8 U.S.C. Sec 1182(f) ) declaring 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.”  How much clearer can it get.  The President has both the Constitutional authority and the legislative mandate to, at his discretion, without any approval and without any review suspend immigration of any group or any class of people.  He need not offer proof that it would be detrimental to the United States.  It is at his discretion.  Further, President Trump is not alone in applying this power.  Presidents Carter and Obama both used this provision to suspend immigration.  Understand clearly, this is a power assigned to the President exclusively and is not reviewable.

The left’s reaction to President Trump’s order was swift and irrational (as most leftist actions are) and premised on emotion, economic interest, political animosity, misinformation and political bias.  Lawsuits have been filed in 47 courts.  Several courts have ordered stays of the moratorium, the most loudly proclaimed in the media being the Ninth Circuit Court in San Francisco.  Sometimes referred to as the “Ninth Circus Court” this ultra-liberal body makes a living legislating from the bench rather than interpreting the law.  The three judge panel that heard this case got the decision about as wrong as they could which was not unexpected since it is likely they had the decision in mind before hearing the case.  Why would I make a statement like that?  For very good reason.  The judge in Washington State who made the original ruling that was appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court as well as the Appeals Court both failed (or refused) to recognize the authority of Congress and the President to make a decision on national security that is clearly theirs to make.

Neither court even discussed the authority granted under 8 U.S.C. sec 1182(f) which is very clear in allowing the President to do exactly what he did.

The Ninth Circuit Court discussed only briefly the fact that it owes “substantial deference to the immigration and national security policy determinations of the political branches – an uncontroversial principal that is well grounded in our jurisprudence.”  The same court gave exactly no deference to the President’s determination that such a moratorium was necessary to put in place adequate vetting procedures.

The Ninth Circus Court then proceeded, with no facts placed in evidence, to conclude that there is no evidence that any alien from the countries named has perpetrated any attacks on the US.  This is preposterous when there is an abundance of such evidence.  One example of such evidence is the Senate Judiciary Committee Report last year that noted 60 people born in the seven countries cited have been convicted of terror related crimes in the US.

The discussion of the Ninth Circuit Court, rather than focusing on the safety of Americans, concerned itself more with the order failing to provide due process to aliens barred from entry.  This is, by itself, a fallacious consideration.  Aliens do not have US Constitutional rights.  They would only have Constitutional rights if they had a Constitutional right to enter the United States, which they assuredly do not.

Of the lawsuits filed so far, only the District Court of Massachusetts got the issue right when the judge concluded that the President was fully within his rights and authority to bar immigrants and that such action is largely immune from judicial control.  This, of course, has not been covered in the media.

Closer to home, Pennsylvania’s Attorney General was in Washington yesterday and managed to demonstrate why we need a Republican Governor to appoint an Attorney General who will enforce the law and not Democratic ideology.  Attorney General Shapiro, who has joined 15 other state Attorneys General, all Democrats, in filing suit against the order, stated, “My job is to uphold the rule of law and protect the interest of the Commonwealth, and I believe the president’s executive order undermines the rule of law.”  It would be nice if Shapiro’s actions actually supported his statement.  As support of his position, he cited adverse impacts (inconveniences) on some people who travel from the nations involved and economic impact on higher education.  He also cited impacts on our economy, tourism and “many other things”.  Wow, he forgot stopping the earth from spinning.  What impact a 90 day moratorium will have on economic interest, higher education, tourism or anything else is wildly speculative and not a factor in the legal basis of the law.  He also said that, “while the president has broad authority, it is not boundless and he thinks the president overstepped those bounds”.  In fact, Mr. Shapiro, if you took the trouble to read the law, the President’s authority is very nearly boundless.  Just what bounds do you believe he overstepped since the law, the one that you say you support, specifies none?

Fuzzy minded lefties are having fun making noise but, as usual, they are blowing the hot air of emotion, devoid of fact.

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Bumps in the Road: Trump vs. Obama

Posted February 15, 2017, 6:40 pm

trump-obamaThe resignation of national security advisor Michael Flynn has the anti-Trump media declaring the new administration a “mess,” in “turmoil” and thrown into “chaos.”

Funny, these same Chicken Littles barely shrugged their shoulders during the turmoil-laden first 100 days of Barack Obama’s first term. Some perspective is in order.

Remember the withdrawal of Obama’s pick for National Intelligence Council chairman, Charles Freeman, in March 2009? Obama had tapped the former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia for the sensitive post despite abundant conflicts of interests. Freeman had served for four years on the board of the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, a company owned by the Chinese communist government. The state-owned firm has invested in Sudan and Iran. Freeman also led the Middle East Policy Council, a Washington, DC-based group funded by the Saudi government. And he chaired Projects International, a consulting firm that had worked with foreign companies and governments.

Obama knew all that and looked the other way at Freeman’s role as a de facto lobbyist for Saudi royalty. Even worse, he ignored Freeman’s Jew-bashing and tyrant-coddling record with a Blame America axe to grind. Freeman carped that our country exhibited “an ugly mood of chauvinism” after the 9/11 attacks and condemned his fellow countrymen for connecting the dots of Islam and Saudi-funded jihad: “Before Americans call on others to examine themselves,” he fumed with Jeremiah Wright-style bombast, “we should examine ourselves.”

In fine form, Freeman inveighed against the “Israel Lobby” in his resignation letter.

The screed said less about Freeman than it did about the Obama administration’s AWOL vetting system. Where were the watchdogs to guard against terror-friendly conspiracy-minded kooks slipping into sensitive intelligence positions?

Click for full article: https://patriotpost.us/opinion/47458

The Patriot Post

Posted February 13, 2017, 2:36 pm

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State Rep. Rick Saccone takes big step toward a bigger arena

Posted February 10, 2017, 11:34 am

This is exciting news for Washington County Republicans.  One of our own State Representatives has announced his bid to replace non-existent Democrat Senator Casey.  Rick is the right man at the right time to take this important seat.

In next year’s Senate election, Democrats will attempt to defend 25 of the 33 seats up for election.  Pennsylvania is one of 10 seats in a state that President Trump won.  This is a great opportunity to add significantly to the Republican majority in the Senate.

sacconeA state representative from Allegheny County has filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission signalling a run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Robert Casey Jr.

Rep. Rick Saccone, a Republican from Elizabeth, told PennLive Thursday he will formally announce his bid later this month. He becomes the first candidate to take official steps to challenge Casey, who will be up for a third term in 2018.
“I thought our country was going in the wrong direction, and I was going to step up and do something about it,” Saccone said. “I want to be there to help our new president secure the agenda that our people voted for.”

He likely will not be the last.

Several other Republicans are thought to be mulling statewide runs next year, including prospects like House Majority Leader Dave Reed, a Republican from Indiana County, and Montgomery County businessman Jeff Bartos.

Some members of Pennsylvania’s Congressional delegation are also keeping their options open.

But for the moment, Saccone – who promoted his run during last week’s winter meeting of the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee – appears to have the formal field to himself.

Just last week, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported another higher-profile contender, U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan, of Delaware County, will stay in the House, where he is gaining seniority on the influential Ways and Means Committee.

The 59-year-old Saccone was a career Air Force officer serving in its Office of Special Investigation and, more recently, has served on the faculty at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe.

He also served as a civilian employee of the Army in Iraq in 2004-05.

First elected to the state House in 2010, Saccone is considered one of most conservative members of the majority Republican caucus.
A staunch gun rights advocate, he’s also made waves at times with legislation he sponsored to declare 2012 the “Year of the Bible” in Pennsylvania, or to have all public school buildings display the motto, “In God We Trust.”

After President Donald Trump’s victory in Pennsylvania in 2016, Casey’s seat is being eyed by national Republicans as a potential target to flip their way in 2018 as the GOP seeks to grow its 52-48 majority.

In the coming Senate campaign cycle, Democrats must defend 25 of the 33 seats up for election, including 10 in states, like Pennsylvania, where Trump won the presidential vote.

Click for full article: http://www.pennlive.com/news/2017/02/state_rep_rick_saccone_takes_b.html

‘9th Circus’? Scholars say liberal reputation of appeals court hearing immigration case is overblown

Posted February 9, 2017, 2:32 pm

SEATTLE — The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is weighing the appeal of President Trump’s executive order on immigration, is the federal appeals court conservatives have long ridiculed as the “nutty 9th” or the “9th Circus.”

Covering a huge swath of territory — nine western states plus Guam — the San Francisco-based court handles far more cases than any other federal appeals court, including some rulings that have invoked furor from conservatives over the years.

Among them: finding that the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional, that the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays in the military was problematic long before President Obama’s administration ended it, and that states can force pharmacies to dispense emergency contraceptives.

But some legal scholars say the 9th Circuit’s liberal reputation is overblown and that the court has moved to the middle as some of President Carter’s appointees — who were considered extremely liberal — have taken semi-retired “senior” status or passed away.

A Democratic Congress nearly doubled the number of judges on the court during Carter’s tenure, and his appointees faced easy confirmation in the Senate.
The three judges weighing Trump’s travel ban are on the case by virtue of random assignment to this month’s circuit court motions panel. Senior Circuit Judge William C. Canby Jr. was appointed by Carter in 1980; Senior Circuit Judge Richard R. Clifton was appointed by Bush in 2002; and Circuit Judge Michelle T. Friedland was appointed by Obama in 2014.

Canby, based in Phoenix, was a first lieutenant in the Air Force in the 1950s before becoming a Peace Corps administrator in Ethiopia and Uganda in the 1960s. Clifton, who keeps his chambers in Honolulu, came to the bench from private practice. So did Friedland, who is based in San Francisco.

Click for full article: http://triblive.com/usworld/world/11910358-74/circuit-court-appointed

Senate Confirms Jeff Sessions as Attorney General

Posted February 9, 2017, 2:29 pm

jeff sessionsThe Senate voted Wednesday night to confirm Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) as attorney general, capping a vicious debate that left Democrats and Republicans alike seething at times.

No Republicans went against Sessions in the 52-47 vote. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) was the only Democrat to back Sessions.
While Republicans broke out into applause after the vote closed, Democrats largely stood silently. A handful of Democratic senators — including Manchin, Sen. Joe Donnelly (Ind.) and Bob Menendez (N.J.) — went over and shook Sessions’s hand after the vote. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), who didn’t support Sessions, hugged him on the Senate floor.

The fight over Sessions escalated this week, when Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) read a letter that Coretta Scott King had written in 1986 that accused Sessions, a U.S. attorney at the time nominated for a federal judgeship, of using the power of his office to prevent blacks from voting.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) objected to Warren’s speech, saying she had impugned another member of the Senate. In a 49-43 vote, the Senate agreed, preventing Warren from speaking on the Senate floor on Wednesday.

Democrats accused McConnell of sexism for silencing a woman on the floor, and Warren went on a media blitz against the Republican senators and Sessions.

The tensions were on full display during the debate over Sessions’s nomination.

“We all know our colleague from Alabama. He’s honest,” McConnell said. “He’s fair. He’s been a friend to many of us, on both sides of the aisle.”

Click for full article: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/318608-senate-confirms-sessions-as-attorney-general

Pennsylvania Senate passes bill targeting sanctuary cities

Posted February 9, 2017, 2:21 pm

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Senate advanced a measure on Tuesday that would cut off hundreds of millions of dollars in state subsidies to cities and counties that do not always honor detention requests from federal immigration authorities.

The measure targeting sanctuary cities dovetails with a national debate being spearheaded by Pennsylvania’s U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey and President Donald Trump, both Republicans, as a top law-and-order priority.

The Republican-controlled Senate passed the bill, 37-12. Every Republican voted for the bill, as did three Democrats.

The policies of sanctuary cities vary, but the term generally refers to places where local government officials will only honor U.S. immigration detention requests when they are accompanied by an arrest warrant.

During debate on the Senate floor, Republicans said the bill was meant to end those cities’ dangerous practices. Democrats countered that forcing cities to honor detention requests that are not backed by a warrant could trample on civil rights and expose the local governments to lawsuits.

The debate became emotionally charged when the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Allegheny, suggested that questions about the legislation being asked by Sen. Vincent Hughes, D-Philadelphia, were not relevant.

“Any question that I ask on the floor of the Senate is relevant, let’s be clear about that,” Hughes shot back.

Click for more info: http://triblive.com/state/pennsylvania/11910035-74/bill-cities-senate

Trump picks conservative judge Gorsuch for Supreme Court

Posted February 1, 2017, 11:49 am

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Neil Gorsuch (L) after nominating him to be an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., January 31, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

President Donald Trump on Tuesday nominated Neil Gorsuch for a lifetime job on the U.S. Supreme Court, picking the 49-year-old federal appeals court judge to restore the court’s conservative majority and help shape rulings on divisive issues such as abortion, gun control, the death penalty and religious rights.

The Colorado native faces a potentially contentious confirmation battle in the U.S. Senate after Republicans last year refused to consider Democratic President Barack Obama’s nominee to fill the vacancy caused by the February 2016 death of conservative justice Antonin Scalia.

The Senate’s top Democrat, Chuck Schumer, indicated his party would mount a procedural hurdle requiring 60 votes in the 100-seat Senate rather than a simple majority to approve Gorsuch, and expressed “very serious doubts” about the nominee. Liberal groups called for an all-out fight to reject Gorsuch while conservative groups and Republican senators heaped praise on him like “outstanding,” “impressive” and a “home run.”

Gorsuch, the son of a former Reagan administration official, is the youngest nominee to the nation’s highest court in more than a quarter century, and he could influence the direction of the court for decades. He is a judge on the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and was appointed to that post by Republican President George W. Bush in 2006.

Announcing the selection to a nighttime crowd in the White House East Room flanked by the judge and his wife, Trump said Gorsuch’s resume is “as good as it gets.” Trump, who took office on Jan. 20 and has sparked numerous controversies, said he hopes Republicans and Democrats can come together on this nomination for the good of the country.

“Judge Gorsuch has outstanding legal skills, a brilliant mind, tremendous discipline, and has earned bipartisan support,” Trump told an audience that included Scalia’s widow.

Click for full article: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-trump-idUSKBN15F1OW