Syrian Refugees

One Syrian, Kassem Eid an erstwhile media activist in Syria, and a victim of the gas attack that was Bashar al-Assad’s calling of then-President Barack Obama’s (D) bluff of a “red” line and that exposed Obama has being too timid to back his words, had a thought about aid and support to Syria’s refugees in a recent Wall Street JournalHere’s the money quote.

America, if you really care about refugees, then take to the streets, call your representatives, and ask for even further action against the murderer who displaced us. President Trump could order strikes to fully ground Assad’s air force, whose bombing forces civilians to flee. The Assad regime still has more than a dozen operational military airports from which to continue its attacks. Help civilians by creating safe zones and no-fly zones.

YGTBSM

This episode is from Newark Mayor Ras Baraka (D).  He claimed last Sunday, with a straight face that

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is “targeting” mayors like himself, and intimidating them into being “fugitive slave catchers that run around and do their bidding in our cities.”

Milwaukee County, WI, Sheriff David Clarke was more polite than I:

I’ve heard a lot of stupid things [but] comparing fugitive slaves to illegal immigrants is the gold standard of stupidity[.]

I say, rather, that Baraka’s TDS has turned him into an irrational election-denier.

A Test

In South Dakota v Dole, the Supreme Court ruled that the Federal government could not withhold already committed funds from States in amounts that could coerce the States into obeying Federal diktats, such withholdings were legal but only in amounts that would be persuasive rather than coercive (as an aside, the Court did not get around to identifying a threshold or a threshold region that would separate the coercive from the merely persuasive).

Partial Immigration Moratorium

The irrationality of some Federal District judges is being made palpable by their rulings against the latest Executive Order involving a temporary moratorium on folks from six terrorist- and terrorism-supporting countries.  Here’s one example, from US District Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii:

The illogic of the Government’s contentions is palpable.  The notion that one can demonstrate animus toward any group of people only by targeting all of them at once is fundamentally flawed.

Yet he chose not to explain his own logic, nor did he deign explain the limiting principle he holds underlying this claim.  Indeed, he explicitly refused to explain himself:

Sanctuary Cities and Federal Funding

San Francisco asked a federal judge Wednesday to block President Trump’s order threatening to strip federal funds from so-called sanctuary cities that bar police from enforcing immigration laws.

This suit has a good chance of succeeding.  In 1987’s South Dakota v Dole, the Supreme Court ruled (in a dispute over the State’s minimum drinking age and Federal highway funds transfers to the State) that the Federal government cannot withhold already agreed Federal funds from a State in order to coerce State acquiescence with Federal wishes.  Funds can be withheld to “persuade,” but the withheld funds must be related to the question at hand rather than a blanket withholding, and the amount withheld cannot be coercive in its size, but only persuasive.  Without naming a threshold for the amount, the Court held that the 5% withholding imposed by the Federal government was not coercive.

Disingenuous Targeting

Recall that President Donald Trump has signed a revised Executive Order that imposes a short moratorium on entry into the US from six (down from seven under his original EO) Middle Eastern countries.  Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin has filed suit in Hawaii’s Federal District Court to try to block this new EO.  The EO, Chin claims, will damage Hawaii’s

economy, educational institutions, and tourism industry; and it is subjecting a portion of the state’s citizens to second-class treatment and discrimination, while denying all Hawaii residents the benefits of an inclusive and pluralistic society.

Does a foreigner on foreign soil have Fourth Amendment rights?

That’s the subtitle of a Wall Street Journal op-ed.  The answer should be obvious, too: it would be the height of jingo-ism to assert US government jurisdiction over non-citizens outside our borders—outside, for instance, the 14th Amendment’s subject to the jurisdiction of the US.

Firing into another country at a foreign national, especially one that’s a citizen of the country being fired into, could well be a violation, but that potential would be a violation of a different set of circumstances than the question before the Supremes in the present case, Hernandez v Mesa.  That other set of circumstance has to do with international relations, foreign policy, the nature of casus belli, and on and on—and all purely political matters, not legal ones, and so not only a different set of circumstances, but a matter that’s outside the reach of court jurisdiction.

A Good Move

There’s a new sheriff in Phoenix, the one replacing Sheriff Arpaio, who was defeated in the election last fall.  The new cop has withdrawn Arpaio’s policy of holding prisoners for as long as “necessary” for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to come get those flagged for deportation.

I agree.  Cooperation with the Feds is a two-way street; the Feds have to work with the locals, too.

[New Sheriff Paul Penzone] won’t hold immigrants flagged for deportation by federal authorities past their release date in a major policy change.

They’re Already Paying

Hundreds of people in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez gathered on the edge of the Rio Grande River on Friday to form a “human wall” to protest US President Donald Trump’s plans for a wall between the countries.

Thanks for the assist, Protestors.  As we both know, the wall is necessary—metaphorically if not literally—in order to control our borders, regardless of who pays for it.  Just be sure, guys, that you leave openings in it for easy, legal border crossing, just as we intend to do.

Who Works for Whom?

John Curtice, writing in The Guardian, in the land where John Locke was borne, seems confused on the question.  His proximate piece is his missive on the nature of referenda in Great Britain.  He began that piece with a false premise of very large proportion, and that—as false premises are wont to do—set the tone for the rest of his op-ed.

In the Commons debates on Brexit during the last fortnight, many MPs have found themselves voting for something they do not believe in. Instead of being their constituents’ “representative”, they now appear to be no more than the people’s “delegate”.