Tuesday, February 28, 2017

States Are Rejecting a ‘Horrible Idea’

by John and Andy Schlafly

Most state legislatures are now in regular session for a limited number of days, and there’s no shortage of important work to be done at the state level. Yet many state legislatures are wasting precious time on a scheme to change the U.S. Constitution by calling for a national convention.

Although it is theoretically allowed by Article V of our Constitution, a convention for proposing constitutional amendments has never been held, and there is no precedent to guide how it might work. That hasn’t stopped a small group of wealthy donors from spending an estimated ten million dollars on a path that would throw our Nation into a constitutional crisis.

Justice Antonin Scalia called it a “horrible idea” during the year before his untimely death. “This is not a good century to write a constitution,” Scalia warned in 2015, after spending 30 years defending our original Constitution on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Of the first eight state legislatures to consider the idea this year, all eight have rejected it. These states are Arkansas, Kansas, Montana, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming.

But the convention remains very much alive in Texas, where Gov. Greg Abbott has made it an emergency item in the current legislative session. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who controls the agenda in the state senate, is also demanding its passage.

In Texas, where most elected officials are Republicans, the state Republican Party is on record favoring a national convention to amend the U.S. Constitution. That’s directly contrary to the Republican National Platform, after the national platform committee rejected a similar proposal by a nearly unanimous vote last summer in Cleveland.

Arizona would be the ninth state to reject the convention this year, if the state senate stands by its vote of 13-17 last Wednesday, February 22, to reject the Convention of States bill. But that legislation, HCR2010, continues to be pushed hard behind the scenes, and it could be revived due to a motion for reconsideration.

The campaign for a convention masquerades under the misleading slogan Convention of States, which falsely implies that states can exert some measure of control over the agenda, rules, or apportionment of a convention to amend the U.S. Constitution. In fact, all such powers are reserved to Congress or to the convention itself.

Rex Lee, the legendary Solicitor General under President Ronald Reagan, wrote that there’s no way to limit the scope of a constitutional convention to the single issue or issues stipulated by those who advocate it. Anyone who guarantees such a limited convention, Rex Lee added, “is either deluded or deluding.”

Former Chief Justice Warren Burger also warned against the false hope that an Article V convention can be limited. “The convention could make its own rules and set its own agenda,” Burger wrote. “After a Convention is convened, it will be too late to stop the Convention if we don’t like its agenda.”

In Utah, a Republican state senator who voted against the convention observed: “Even if we change the wording, unless we get people back there who are really committed to constitutional principles, we’ll have the same problem no matter what we do.” A Democratic state senator who also voted against the Convention of States added, “When you begin replacing Madison and Jefferson and Hamilton ... you’re going to need a lot of help.”

As Phyllis Schlafly once remarked, “Alas, I don’t see any George Washingtons, James Madisons, Ben Franklins, or Alexander Hamiltons around who could do as good a job as the Founding Fathers — and I’m worried about the men who think they can.” She is credited with defeating the push for a constitutional convention in the 1980s, and she considered those efforts to be as important as defeating the Equal Rights Amendment a decade earlier.

The Constitution says that only Congress may “call” a constitutional convention, so it would not be a “convention of states” but rather would be convened (called) under the direction of power-brokers in Washington, D.C. Congress or the Supreme Court would require the convention to be apportioned by population, which means big liberal states like California and New York would have greater power than most conservative states.

The Constitution itself has never been the problem, and changing it is not the solution. A constitutional convention would attempt to repeal or dilute the Second Amendment right to bear arms, eliminate the Electoral College, require tax-funded abortion, eliminate restrictions on immigration, and dilute the definition of citizenship.

The original Constitutional Convention of 1787 had three essential conditions: complete secrecy from the media, participants who fought in the American Revolution against tyranny, and George Washington presiding. None of those necessary conditions exist today.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously on September 6.

These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

New Deportation Policies Advance Trump’s Agenda

by John Schlafly and Andy Schlafly

John F. Kelly, the new Secretary of Homeland Security, has launched Trump’s immigration agenda with a pair of memos officially released on Tuesday. These documents demonstrate how serious President Trump is in halting illegal immigration.

Contrary to the liberal hysteria sparked by these memos, they outline in measured tone the sensible steps to be taken to deport illegal aliens who are dangerous to our citizenry. The era of “big immigration” is officially over.

A six-page memo entitled “Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest” is followed by its thirteen-page counterpart, “Implementing the President’s Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements Policies.” Signed by Secretary Kelly, these formal documents lay the blueprint for rolling back the harmful immigration policies of the Obama Administration and firmly establishing much-needed national security for Americans.

The number of illegals deported by the Obama Administration in 2015 was the lowest amount in a decade, as merely 333,000 criminals were sent back home. That was down more than 20% from the number of deportations a few years earlier.

It was for political reasons that Obama cut back on deportations, in order to appease the liberal base who view illegals as future Democratic voters. Trump’s new guidelines do not change the law, but merely enforce immigration statutes that Obama refused to.

Secretary Kelly expands deportation to include illegal aliens who have been charged with the commission of a crime regardless of whether they have been convicted. If someone is in this country illegally, then that by itself is contrary to our laws, and our overburdened criminal justice system should not have to obtain a conviction against him before he is sent back to where he came from.

Often persons charged with crimes are out committing more crimes before they are convicted, as convictions can take many months or years to obtain. Also, taxpayers should not have to fund criminal defense attorneys to represent illegal aliens in our court system.

Sometimes wrongful acts are committed by illegal aliens that do not result in criminal charges, such as obtaining money by fraudulent means. These illegals should also be deported, and Trump’s new policy allows for that.

Illegal aliens who pose a risk to others or to the security of our nation should also be deported immediately without awaiting formal criminal charges or convictions. Secretary Kelly’s new policy sensibly authorizes government officials to make such determinations about illegal aliens and take prompt action to safeguard our country against them.

These reforms and others are entirely consistent with the executive orders issued by President Trump last month but improvidently blocked by federal courts. It is expected that new orders will soon be forthcoming from the President that do not give up any of these essential policies.

But enormous obstacles remain to implementation of Trump’s overdue reforms. Deportations still require hearings, and there is a backlog of a year-and-a-half for holding hearings on deportations that are already scheduled.

The alarm bells being sounded in some quarters are unjustified. An official for DHS explained on Tuesday that no mass deportations or roundups were being planned or even intended for the future.

Secretary Kelly’s directives properly advance two additional objectives of the Trump Administration. These new policies seek to reduce sanctuary areas for illegal aliens, and encourage local police to assist in the implementation of our immigration laws.

Until now, sanctuary cities that harbor illegals have been taking federal dollars with impunity, and an analysis by Reuters reveals that the top ten sanctuary cities receive $2.27 billion in federal aid. Yet a recent Harvard-Harris poll found that 80% of Americans oppose the policies of sanctuary cities.

Many local law enforcement programs for dealing with illegal aliens were suspended or not enforced during the Obama Administration. The vast majority of cities and towns across America have police who want to rid their communities of the crime brought in by illegal immigration, but could not do so for the past eight years.

Secretary Kelly indicated that the Trump Administration will restore programs that facilitate cooperation between local and federal law enforcement with respect to apprehending and removing illegal aliens. Specifically, Trump is reinitiating the Secure Communities and 287(g) programs, which authorize police to act like immigration agents and which allow continued imprisonment of illegals suspected of having committed crimes, before they are handed over to federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.

Within hours of the announcement of Secretary Kelly’s new policies, ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations criticized New York City for releasing from confinement an illegal alien who is a self-described member of a violent street gang. Fortunately ICE was able to track down and arrest him again for deportation.

Trump promised to take strong action against illegal immigration, and he is. We applaud these significant steps forward by the Trump Administration.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously on September 6.

These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Ames tribute to Phyllis

Bobbie Ames wrote an obituary of Phyllis Schlafly, and it was just republished:
The New York Times called her the “First Lady of a Political March to the Right.” I called her my treasured friend of more than 50 years. I also called her my inspiration and motivation, as I learned so much through the decades about political action and the passion required to “hang in there” in the world of politics.

Phyllis Schlafly was a model, not just to me, but to women all over America. Her priorities: God, Family, and Country. She was stalwart in her Christian world view, which guided her passion for the Pro-Life movement. I dare not think of where we would be had she not championed that cause so early, so consistently, and passionately. The recent Republican National Convention passed the most conservative platform in decades, and she was right there to make sure that it was just so. Many delegates were there participating because of their relationship with Phyllis, who truly educated them over decades.

Phyllis Schlafly was an Educator of the First Order. Her Phyllis Schlafly Reports went monthly, for many decades, to grass roots activists as did her newsletter, the Education Reporter. There is no way to estimate the impact that she has had in every single state in America as an Educator. ...

Having her as a treasured friend and mentor, is one of the great blessings of my life. Paying tribute to her life and legacy is a privilege. I pray that Eagles will “continue to fly” in this nation taking the lessons from Phyllis’ life and ministry, guided by God’s Holy Word.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Trump book cites 1964 Schlafly book

Roger Stone writes, in an excerpt from his latest book:
In her self-published 1964 book, “A Choice Not an Echo,” conservative luminary Phyllis Schlafly argued that Dewey lost in 1948 because he was a “me too” candidate who refused to criticize Truman sharply for the New Deal, failing to take on the president directly for his liberal ideology while shying away from arguing strong conservative policy alternatives. Schlafly believed that if Dewey had gone after Truman vigorously while arguing for strong conservative politics, the message would have been well-received by voters in 1948, a time when the nation was emerging from the Depression and World War II. In 2016, Schlafly was one of the first conservative leaders to endorse Trump, authoring her latest book, “The Conservative Case for Trump,” in which she defined what was to become known as the “Trump movement.”

Friday, February 17, 2017

Wanting a Deep State Coup

President Trump is trying to drain the swamp, but there is pleny of opposition from so-called conservatives.

Breitbart reports:
Former CIA operative and 2016 third-party presidential candidate Evan McMullin took to Twitter and CNN on Wednesday to defend rogue intelligence agents who break the law to leak classified information, saying President Donald Trump “presents a threat to the country.” ...

On Tuesday, Weekly Standard editor-at-large Bill Kristol expressed similar sentiments, and appeared, in theory, to endorse a coup by the “deep state” against the “Trump state.”
Obviously strongly prefer normal democratic and constitutional politics. But if it comes to it, prefer the deep state to the Trump state.

— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) February 14, 2017
And from a week ago:
Mr. Kristol then shifted to the idea, first reported by The Daily Caller, that many white Americans have become complacent and “lazy.”

“Look, to be totally honest, if things are so bad as you say with the white working class, don’t you want to get new Americans in?” Mr. Kristol said. “You can make a case that America has been great because every — I think John Adams said this — basically if you are in free society, a capitalist society, after two or three generations of hard work, everyone becomes kind of decadent, lazy, spoiled — whatever.”

“Then, luckily, you have these waves of people coming in from Italy, Ireland, Russia, and now Mexico, who really want to work hard and really want to succeed and really want their kids to live better lives than them and aren’t sort of clipping coupons or hoping that they can hang on and meanwhile grew up as spoiled kids and so forth. In that respect, I don’t know how this moment is that different from the early 20th Century.”
So let me get this straight. Kristol controls a leading conservative state, and he favors replacing the American white population with non-white foreigners, and replacing our elected political leaders with secretive internationalist spooks?

Judges interfere with national security

The PS Report has warned of the dangers of supremacist judges trying to erase Trump administration policy, but the threat may be understated.

Law professor Eric Posner (and son of the famous judge) writes:
In a post on the Ninth Circuit travel ban case, Washington v. Trump, I observed that when the case goes back to the district court, the court will determine whether Trump acted from anti-Muslim animus. If it so finds, then any future national-security action will be subject to an extra layer of judicial review, potentially interfering with the president’s ability to protect the public. “We may have a new regime of heightened judicial review in national security cases because courts believe the president is a bigot.”

Now we get to find out. A district court in Virginia made just this determination in a case called Aziz v. Trump. She declared the national-security justification for the travel ban a sham, and found sufficient evidence of anti-Muslim animus on Trump’s part to issue a preliminary injunction.

The judge denied that her ruling would “render every policy that the president makes related to Muslim-majority countries open to challenge” because the Court’s ruling was based on a particular “sequence of events.” Yet earlier in the opinion, she quoted the Supreme Court’s statement that the “world is not made brand new every morning.” Trump’s statements from his campaign are therefore relevant to the question of whether the travel ban was motivated by animus. But then why won’t they also be relevant to his future anti-Muslim actions? Answer: they will be.
In other words, the judges will declare President Trump a bigot and use that as an excuse to flood the USA with migrants from Moslem countries.

I think that these judges have some anti-Trump and anti-American animus.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Trump Defense

Top Eagle Ed Martin now posts at Ed Martin - Trump Defense over at Newsmax.com.

A news story gives some of the background behind Martin's role in the Eagle organizations:
In October, a Madison County, Illinois judge issued an order suspending Martin from the presidency of the organization, and giving its board control of the group.

Anne Schlafly Cori told AMI the final outcome of that lawsuit is still pending.

Cori said Martin’s "Phyllis Schlafly's American Eagles," sued the Eagle Forum in federal court for trademark infringement.

Cori said despite the judge’s order, the Eagle Forum still does not have control over all its assets.
No, that is not quite right. Cori filed the lawsuit against Eagle Forum C4 and another lawsuit against Phyllis Schlafly's American Eagles. Her lawsuit has gotten control of the Eagle Forum C4 bank accounts, but not those of the Eagle Forum C3, the Phyllis Schlafly Report, the American Eagles, and other activities.
Martin said Cori and her fellow board members were conducting a “classic hostile takeover” of the organization Phyllis Schlafly built.

Martin said they were angry that Schlafly supported Donald Trump’s ultimately successful bid for the GOP presidential nomination, adding that Cori and others were all “very strong for [Texas senator] Ted Cruz.”

“Look at the other issues Eagle Forum has been involved in over the years,” Martin said. “Eagle Forum has always been a leading opponent of a constitutional convention. Ted Cruz and others are strong backers of the convention of the states, which is the same thing.”

Andy Schlafly agreed.

“All six of the Gang were strident anti-Trumpers,” Schlafly said, “and most of them stayed that way throughout the year.”

“But they eventually realized that issue wasn't helping them with Eagle Forum membership, so they switched to trying unfairly to demonize Ed Martin,” Schlafly said.

“But membership overwhelmingly supports Ed Martin, so that hasn't helped the Gang of 6 either,” he said.

Cori said her organization intends to move forward with its agenda items, and believes “we are in a very strong position legally going forward.”
Her main agenda was to try to attract anti-Trump Schlafly Eagle followers, and to use lawsuits to seize bank accounts. All she really has to show for her work is that "very strong position legally" to seize the Eagle Forum C4 bank accounts.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Judges Join the ‘Resistance’

by John and Andy Schlafly

Judge Leonie Brinkema of Alexandria, Virginia has become the latest federal judge to join the “resistance” to Donald Trump. She joins Judge James Robart of Seattle, whose political decisionruling against Trump was upheld by three judges of the Ninth Circuit.

Resistance has become the rallying cry for those who failed to defeat Trump at the ballot box last year. The well-funded Center for American Progress, which employs people connected with Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign, said it hoped to be “the central hub of the Trump resistance.”

Resistance to Trump began on November 9, the day after the election, when the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) threatened to “see him in court” where it promised to unleash its “full firepower” to stop Trump. Resistance is the theme of the anarchists who sparked violent protests against Trump, including smashed windows and fires, from Berkeley, California to Washington, D.C.

Like Judge Robart before her, Judge Brinkema did not bother to cite any relevant law that supports her opinion against Trump's executive order being carried out. Instead, her opinion complained that campaign speeches by Trump and one of his surrogates, Rudolph Giuliani, revealed the President’s “religious prejudice” against Muslims.

Both judges falsely claimed there’s no “evidence” that suspending travel from 7 Muslim countries would protect Americans from terrorism, and Judge Robart even said that no visitor or refugee from any of the 7 countries had ever been arrested for terrorism. In fact, 72 individuals from those 7 countries have been convicted of terror-related crimes since September 11, 2001.

The list of 72 individuals, including at least one from each of the 7 countries on Trump’s list, was compiled last year by a Senate subcommittee led by former Senator Jeff Sessions, who is now our Attorney General. At least 17 of the convicted arrived in the United States as refugees, and at least 25 of them eventually became U.S. citizens.

Just four months ago, an Iraqi refugee who came here in 2009 was convicted of trying to help ISIS by setting off bombs at two shopping malls in Houston. “I want to travel to be with those who are against America,” the Iraqi refugee wrote. “I am against America.”

The opinions of the two federal judges, Robart and Brinkema, constituted overreaching beyond the legitimate constitutional boundaries of the federal judiciary. That’s why the “disheartening” remark reportedly made by Trump’s nominee for to fill Justice Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court, Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch, was a cause for concern among conservatives.

Certainly Justice Scalia would never have whined that criticism of judges was “disheartening” or “demoralizing,” another wimpy word from Judge Gorsuch. Scalia himself often used scathing language about other judges, such as the time he wrote that “I would hide my head in a bag” rather than join an opinion of his colleague, Justice Anthony Kennedy.

President Trump has at least one appointee vocal on this topic, White House policy adviser Stephen Miller, who did a round of Sunday interviews. Miller astutely observed that said of the Judge Robart’s decision was a “judicial usurpation of power” because “it is a violation of judges’ proper role in litigating disputes.”

Defending Trump’s Twitter attack on “the opinion of this so-called judge” on Twitter, Miller said, “We don’t have judicial supremacy in this country. Of course one branch can criticize another branch of government.”'

Precisely 20 years ago, Phyllis Schlafly wrote against the growing problem of judicial supremacy in her monthly Phyllis Schlafly Report. "The most important duty of the 105th Congress is to protect America from judicial usurpation and restore our constitutional balance of powers among the three branches of our government,” she wrote then in words that ring just as true today.

“The Senate and House Judiciary Committees should hold extensive hearings on various proposals to stop the usurpation of power by the federal courts,” Phyllis continued. “Congress's investigative function is one of its most important duties, and now is the time to use it” with respect to the usurpation by the courts.

If Congress fails to act, however, it is incumbent on the executive branch to check-and-balance overreaching by another branch of government. The power of the executive branch to take action against foreigners seeking entry into our Nation is central to its constitutional authority.

Presidents Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, and Abraham Lincoln all properly stood up against overreaching by the federal judiciary, setting precedents for future presidents to do likewise. Even liberal favorite President Franklin Delano Roosevelt drafted a speech to justify his decision to defy an adverse Supreme Court ruling in the Gold Clause Cases, if the Court ultimately chose to invalidate the government's abrogation of gold clauses in federal obligations. The Court then backed down.

President Ronald Reagan was tested early in office by the Air Traffic Controllers strike, and he rose to the challenge. So should President Trump.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously on September 6.

These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Trump versus the Judge

by John Schlafly and Andy Schlafly

Donald Trump won the presidency fair and square, but there’s a well-funded movement to resist his victory and defy the new president’s authority over the executive branch of our government. Now one federal judge, who sits nearly 3,000 miles away in the “other” Washington, has raised the stakes by ordering federal bureaucrats to disobey a lawful order by President Trump.

Judge James L. Robart’s reckless ruling shocked legal scholars because in so many previous decisions, courts have recognized the president’s power to keep aliens out of the United States. If taken literally, the judge’s ruling gives everyone in the world the right to sue in our courts for the right to enter and remain in our country.

“Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril,” Trump tweeted from Mar-a-Lago. “If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!”

A few minutes later, he tweeted again: “I have instructed Homeland Security to check people coming into our country VERY CAREFULLY. The courts are making the job very difficult!”

It should be obvious that we need to pause the admission of refugees and others from known terror havens, and Donald Trump was elected on a promise to institute a temporary ban followed by “extreme vetting” of future visitors. The America people are entitled to get what we voted for.

Orlando, San Bernardino, and Chattanooga are just a few of our cities scarred by atrocities committed by refugees or aliens from known hotbeds of terrorism, or by their spouses or children who grew up among us. The bombers of the Boston Marathon were sons of refugees, and the recent attack at Ohio State University was committed by an 18-year-old refugee from Somalia.

“What is our country coming to when a judge can halt a Homeland Security travel ban and anyone, even with bad intentions, can come into U.S.?” read another Trump tweet. “When a country is no longer able to say who can, and who cannot, come in & out, especially for reasons of safety & security - big trouble!”

The president’s commonsense views, so recently endorsed by the American people, received no respect from the federal judge in Seattle. Although nominally appointed by President George W. Bush in 2004, Judge Robart was actually selected for his job by Washington’s two Democratic U.S. Senators, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell.

In the most offensive part of his ruling, the judge accepted the crazy argument that Washington State has the right to protect its own “residents” (not citizens) against the legitimate enforcement of federal law. The Supreme Court rejected that idea in the 1960s, when South Carolina tried to escape the federal Voting Rights Act, and it should do so again in this case.

The Supreme Court has also ruled that aliens outside the United States have no right to sue to enter our country. The President can even revoke their visas if he believes it is in the national interest to do so. And if the aliens themselves have no right to sue, no one else has the right to sue on their behalf.

The famous Quinnipiac poll recently sampled 899 registered voters, finding that by a margin of 48 percent to 42 percent, voters support “suspending immigration from terror prone regions, even if it means turning away refugees.” By a margin of 53 percent to 41 percent, voters also said they would support requiring immigrants from Muslim-majority nations to register with American officials.

Rasmussen reported similar results from its poll of 1,000 likely voters, with 57 percent supporting a temporary halt on refugees from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian and Yemen while only 33 percent were opposed. The president’s proposal was supported by 82 percent of Republicans, 59 percent of independents and 34 percent of Democrats.

Newsweek magazine sent a reporter to Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, which flipped from supporting Obama by 5 points in 2012 to a 20-point victory for Trump in 2016. Voters there overwhelmingly support the President’s policy, with one former Bernie Sanders supporter saying of Trump: “I don’t think he’s picked out a religion, he’s picked out countries that need more vetting,”

While the President’s executive order works its way through the courts, the Syrian-born mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, signed his own executive order that prohibits the use of “any Borough funds or resources to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration law.” The defiant refugee from Aleppo proves the truth of Ann Coulter’s recent comment: “We let in one ethnic group out of compassion, then they form an ethnic power bloc to demand that all their fellow countrymen be let in, too.”

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously on September 6.

These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Trump has a governing ideology

After several confused cover stories on Donald Trump, Time magazine has suddenly discovered that he has policy proposals:
it is now apparent that President Donald J. Trump actually has a governing ideology. His Inaugural Address, the strongest and most coherent speech he's ever delivered, was a clear statement of that philosophy. It may change the shape of domestic politics. It may overturn the international order that has existed for 70 years. ...

Here's the crucial paragraph: "For many decades, we've enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry; subsidized the armies of other countries, while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military. We've defended other nations' borders while refusing to defend our own; and spent trillions of dollars overseas while America's infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay."