14th Amendment

The Attack On Birthright Citizenship And The 14th Amendment By Donald Trump, Mike Pence, And Lindsey Graham

Donald Trump has opened up a new area of attack on constitutional law, claiming that he can, by executive order, end birthright citizenship for infants born of undocumented immigrants, bypassing the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of citizenship for all born in the United States in 1868, exactly 150 years ago.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, for once, is correct when he says that is not possible legally, as executive orders cannot end what is in the Constitution or its amendments.

It is also a fact, despite some, like Vice President Mike Pence, and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham who claim otherwise, that legislation by Congress also cannot end what is in the Constitution or the amendments.

The only way to change what is in the Constitution or its 27 amendments is by another constitutional amendment, as occurred when the 18th Amendment banning liquor (Prohibition) was passed in 1919 and fourteen years later, with much discontent, the amendment was repealed by the 21st Amendment, the only way Prohibition would ever have ended.

If it was that easy to change what is in the Constitution or its amendments, then there would be a move to end the Electoral College, but that will never happen legally unless an amendment is passed by two thirds of each of the two houses of Congress, and three fourths of the states’ legislatures (38 out of 50).

The idea that Lindsey Graham is suddenly a great friend of Donald Trump, after the way that Trump trashed his good friend, the late Arizona Senator John McCain, is infuriating. One can be certain that McCain would fight this idea that Trump has suggested that he has the authority, all on his own, to destroy the language of the 14th Amendment. It is certain that McCain would be angry at Graham for his changed behavior, and it makes one wonder what is going on in Graham’s disturbed mind that he does not know the basic reality of constitutional law.

Of course, those on the Right would say the Supreme Court could justify what Trump wishes to do, and in theory, a lawless Court, which has already made decisions clearly and purely political in the last ten years, could by a 5-4 vote, including compromised Justice Brett Kavanaugh, do such. But it is hard to imagine that Chief Justice John Roberts would wish to be part of a majority that would undermine his reputation and that of his Court in the long run of history.

If such a disgrace were to happen, the Supreme Court would lose its credibility for all time, and would be helping Donald Trump to destroy our democracy, and impose an authoritarian dictatorship on our nation.

There is absolutely no moral or ethical way that this could happen, and be allowed to stand!

And also, the thought that an infant would not have the opportunity for a good life in America, simply because his or her parents were not documented at the time of his or her birth, is to deny the whole point of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, and the reality that tens of millions of immigrants, and not all legal, with many “slipping in” through our borders and not realized what they had done, contributed to our nation’s greatness.

Think of the refugees from Cuba and Vietnam who came to a nation welcoming them from their personal tragedies in the past half century, and think of the refugees who came from all over the world over two centuries to a nation that gave them a chance to succeed and prosper, and benefit all of the American people!

US V Nixon; Clinton V Jones; And Now US V Trump?

In 1974, the Supreme Court, by 8-0 vote, told Richard Nixon that he had to hand over the Watergate tapes to the Special Prosecutor, which led to Nixon’s resignation a few weeks later.

In 1997. the Supreme Court, by 9-0 vote, told Bill Clinton that he could not avoid trial on sexual harassment charges brought by Paula Jones, simply because of his Presidential duties, which led to the impeachment and trial in 1998-1999.

The point of these two cases, US V Nixon, and Clinton V Jones, is that the President is not in total charge, and can be held to account by the Court system of America.

Donald Trump is about to get the same reality check, as the case involving the ban of all immigration from seven Muslim nations goes to the 9th Circuit Court, after a District Court Judge showed courage in stopping the enforcement of the President’s executive order. This is seen by most legal experts as unconstitutional, as a violation of the First and 14th Amendments, and being used against nations that have sent no terrorists to America, while other nations that have, are not included in the ban.

Donald Trump seems to think he is above the law, and his authoritarian, autocratic and tyrannical behavior must be nipped in the bud right now!

Urgency For Republican Party And Entire Nation To Condemn Donald Trump And Prevent His Presidential Nomination In 2016!

Racist, nativist, bigoted Fascist demagogue Donald Trump has just gone beyond the pale with his call for the banning of all Muslims to the United States, including any Muslim citizens who are traveling overseas as tourists or on business.

This is against the 1st, 5th, and 14th Amendments to the Constitution, and reminds us of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the Japanese American internment in prison camps from 1942-1945!

We cannot sit idly by as this dangerous man is stirring up the extremist groups in America, and even his rhetoric is bound to cause violence against decent, law abiding Muslims in America, which would mean Trump has blood on his hands.

The Republican Party must declare that under no circumstances will they allow Trump to be their nominee, or else they will lose their status as a serious political party, as the party of Lincoln, TR, and Ike, cannot sit idly by as Trump totally destroys their historical image!

Anti Trump rallies must be organized around the nation, and make it clear that anyone who supports Trump on this matter shall be repudiated and isolated by family and colleagues as unAmerican!

The Complete Reversal Of American Politics: Republicans In The South, Democrats In Large Populated Northeastern, Midwestern And Western States!

The defeat of Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu on Saturday marks the complete reversal of American politics from the years 1877 to the present.

After the Reconstruction of the South ended, with Union Army troops leaving, twelve years after the Civil War, the South became an area totally dominated by Democrats, resentful of the Republican Party, Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War defeat, and the passage of Amendments 13, 14, and 15, ending slavery, making blacks citizens, and giving the men the right to vote.

The South went into massive resistance, creating Jim Crow segregation to replace slavery, and until the election of Herbert Hoover in 1928 and Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952, it was always a solid Democratic South with no black voting, due to discriminatory state laws that were ignored by generations of the federal government. Hoover won much of the South due to his Catholic opponent, Alfred E. Smith, in 1928, and Eisenhower won over Adlai Stevenson twice in the 1950s due to his personal popularity and World War II D Day reputation.

But only when the Civil Rights Movement was in full swing, starting in the 1950s, and reaching its peak with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 under Lyndon B. Johnson, did we see the beginning of a mass exodus of office holders and ordinary white population, to the Republican Party, starting with Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina in 1964, switching parties to back Republican Senator Barry Goldwater against President Lyndon B. Johnson.

As the Democrats started to lose power in the South, the nomination of Southern governors Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996, and the rise of “New South” Governors like them and others in the Democratic Party, slowed up the switch to the GOP.

But the election of Barack Obama, considered anathema in the South, has now led to the entire wiping out of Southern Democrats in Congress, except for black and Jewish members of the House in districts gerrymandered that give the Republicans more total Congressional and state legislative seats in the South. Only a few other white non jewish members of the House remain, and they are endangered in the political climate of the South in 2014.

Only Virginia has both its Senators and Governor (Mark Warner, Tim Kaine, Terry McAuliffe) as Democrats, and only Florida has one other Democratic Senator, Bill Nelson at this point, as we enter 2015.

And both Virginia and Florida have Republican dominated legislatures, as well as the other states that made up the Confederate States of America.

And, of course, Florida includes the heavily Northern South Florida, and Virginia has the heavily Northern North Virginia, influenced by being part of the DC suburbs, and otherwise, these three Senators and one Governor would not be in public office.

So the complete reversal of a century and a half ago has occurred, and is unlikely to be changed for a generation or more, at the least.

This means that the South will remain as it is now for a generation or more, and that the issue of race nearly a century and a half ago, again stands out as the key difference that separates that section from the rest of the country.

Meanwhile, the heavily populated areas of the nation in the Northeast, Midwest and West are more Democratic than ever, and are unlikely to change either over time, creating political deadlock long term over the future, stifling change and creating constant political conflict and deadlock!

Conservative Right Wing Attack On The Constitution: The Threat Of Another Constitutional Convention Wiping Out Constitutional Amendments!

The Founding Fathers gave us a Constitution, admitting in the process that there would always be room for improvements, so made clear that amendments were appropriate over time.

So we have had 27 Amendments, including the first ten that make up the Bill of Rights.

When one looks at the amendments, particularly those that came after the Bill of Rights, one realizes that the vast majority of them were “progressive” in tone, designed to expand democracy in America, or else, amendments dealing with the office of the Presidency.

So the “progressive” amendments included the 13th (ending slavery and involuntary servitude); the 14th (promoting due process and equal protection and making African Americans citizens); the 15th (guaranteeing the right to vote for African Americans and others which had been denied that right); the 16th (providing for a federal income tax to raise revenue to deal with mounting social and economic issues); the 17th (granting the people the right to elect their two United States Senators by popular vote); the 19th (guaranteeing women the right to vote); the 23rd (guaranteeing residents of Washington, DC the right to vote); the 24th (preventing a poll tax for voting); and the 26th (guaranteeing young people 18-21 the right to vote).

So nine of the seventeen amendments after the first ten of the Bill of Rights promote progressive change, while the 12th, 20th, 22nd and 25th deal with the office of the Presidency.

The only amendment that was ever passed to limit the freedom of Americans was the 18th (prohibition of liquor), but later repealed by the 21st Amendment.

Now we have the real threat by right wing conservatives, including the Tea Party Movement, who want a new Constitutional Convention to wipe out these “progressive” amendments!

They do not like voting rights for African Americans, other minorities, women, residents of Washington DC (mostly African Americans) and young people; and they are unhappy that African Americans are considered equal under the law, and if they had the ability to do so, they would love to re-enslave poor people, which by corporate power is occurring in an informal way for many minorities, as well as white lower class people struggling every day to survive!

And they wish they could restore the US Senate elections to the corrupt state legislatures, taking away the popular vote. Finally, they hate the federal income tax, even though many of them avoid substantial taxation by having investments, rather than working for a living like most of us do. So they would prefer a sales tax, which is regressive, and would hurt the middle class and the poor much more than the wealthy elite!

But that is exactly the extremist right wing intention—to restore the “good old days” when they were in charge, and everyone had to kowtow to them!

We must not allow such a threat to develop, so the battle for progressivism is never ending, as a result!

Republicans, Race, And The Confederate South: Successors To Old Southern Democrats!

The Republican Party, the party of Abraham Lincoln; the Emancipation Proclamation; the 13th, 14th, 15th Amendments; large scale support for civil rights in the 1960s; and having three progressive Southerners as President (Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton); and many New South Governors (including Jimmy Carter, Reuben Askew, Dale Bumpers, Bill Clinton), has now fully adapted itself to the old Confederate South, the old Southern segregationist Democrats, the South that wants the “good old days” of slavery and discrimination that existed before the Civil War and continued for another century until the civil rights movement transformed the South, or seemed to do so.

The fact is that the old Confederate South still exists, and the Republicans have become the successor to the old racist, Southern Democrats. Many of the members of Congress from the South and the Border States have no problem spewing racist statements, and backing racists, including, just recently: Cliven Bundy, Donald Sterling, Paula Deen, George Zimmerman, Ted Nugent–all of whom identify with the Republican Party.

At the same time, the majority of the Supreme Court, appointed by Republicans, have weakened the Voting Rights Act enforcement and have now made affirmative action something that will be ended, rather than reformed; and the use of abusive language toward the first African American President has been done with absolutely no sign of any respect or deference for a person in the Presidency, who at least has the right to expect that. Some would say that every President suffers abuse, but none since Abraham Lincoln has faced as much hate and personal threats as Barack Obama.

Additionally, the Republican Party has done everything it can to limit the right to vote to African Americans and other minorities as the only way for them to keep power in the South, but also in the heartland, as well!

It is indeed sad that the GOP has become what conservatives love to condemn the old Southern Democrats for doing, but indeed have copied–a party of support of racism and inequality of treatment!

Federal District Court Judges And Same Sex Marriage Bans Collapsing!

The move toward same sex marriage churns on, with federal judges having utilized the 14th Amendment in four “Red” states in the past two months now to end the discrimination against gays marrying.

So on Valentine’s Day, it now looks more evident than ever that a national Supreme Court decision is in the offing, with Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the majority decision in Lawrence V. Texas in 2003 igniting the gay civil rights movement, likely to be the fifth and decisive vote in any case that goes to the high Court!

Who would ever have thought that Utah, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and now, newly turned “Blue” Virginia (the state of the Loving V. Virginia interracial marriage case in 1967), would see such rapid action to defy the bigots and the haters?

The federal courts have been the herald of the future in so much of modern history, as with Brown V. Board of Education on racial integration, and Roe V. Wade on abortion rights, and Lawrence V. Texas on gay rights, and the courage of federal district judges across the nation to push the Supreme Court toward a final determination of same sex marriage is an indication that often we have to leave it to appointed judges to lead us to our better side of human nature, the ending of discrimination and injustice!

Sadly, we see right wing evangelicals, Catholics, and Mormons fighting a rear guard action, which only makes one realize the evils of these organized groups that have in the past been on the wrong side of many moral and ethical issues, overlooking slavery, segregation, women’s rights, and now gay rights. This is a losing battle long term, and these groups fighting against progress and human rights will pay the price in loss of membership by their willingness to fight a battle that is already lost!

Time For Gay Marriage Case Before Supreme Court, As With Interracial Marriage Case In 1967!

With recent gay marriage advancements in New Mexico and Utah, making it now a total of 18 states and Washington DC allowing same sex marriage, it is time for a case to come before the Supreme Court regarding the right of two gay men or two lesbians to be able to marry and be accepted as equal everywhere in the United States.

Just because many “religious” people, both Christian and Jewish, do not wish to accept gay marriage is not a reason to deny equal protection under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.

No one is saying that any particular church or synagogue must perform gay marriages, or that everyone has to be happy and approving of such marriages.

Marriage should not be based on what others think about it, as it is a basic human right, that one has a right to be happy, to love whoever he or she chooses, and to have it acknowledged in civil law.

If one does not like gay marriage, fine, but one does not have the right to deny others because you have a problem with the lifestyle of others.

The same situation existed regarding interracial marriage, and only in 1967, in Loving V. Virginia, did the Supreme Court rule that no state or locality could ban or prevent two adults of any race from marrying.

Even back then, there were religious leaders and sects who disapproved of interracial marriage, and people were being prosecuted for trying to marry, or even living together.

Such a concept is oppressive government, and it is time for this to stop, and for all people to be given the right to do what they wish regarding relationships in their adult lives.

So Supreme Court, it is time to accept a case, maybe out of the Utah government fighting the new gay marriage edict of a federal judge, and to expand human rights, which is the whole basis of American democracy, and the sooner the better!

The Battle For The Dignity And Respect For The Office Of The American Presidency!

President Barack Obama has made it clear that he is NOT going to cave in to the Republican hostage takers on the subject of ObamaCare, and all power to him!

ObamaCare is Obama’s signature accomplishment, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, and every other President who has had a major domestic accomplishment would react the same way Obama is reacting—no bargaining on something already in the law and approved by the Supreme Court!

But Obama has also made it clear that the office of the Presidency deserves dignity and respect, and he will not bargain away the power of that office to a group of radical anarchists known as the Tea Party Movement!

This is not just for the Obama legacy that Obama is fighting, but also for the future of the office, as the Congress, or a radical part of it, cannot be permitted to undermine the powers and prerogatives of that office, whether we have a Republican or Democratic President in the near and far future!

Only the President is voted on by the entire population, and only he, or a future she, truly represents the nation at large!

Congress must know its place in the constitutional system, and if they are, or a faction of them are, ready to allow the full faith and credit of the American government to be breached by a failure of Congress to raise the debt limit in the next two weeks, then the President, and really any President, in the future must take executive action!

The 14th Amendment allows the President to intervene and guarantee payment of all debts, and the raising of the debt limit, and if Congress does not do it, then the President, by executive order, can and MUST do do, and let the chips fall where they may, which might, very well, include a movement by the Republican Party in the House of Representatives to impeach the President!

Obama may provoke such reckless actions by what he does, but there would never be a conviction in the US Senate, even if the GOP won a majority and controlled the chamber.

So it would be another example of what the Republicans did to Bill Clinton, which may have besmirched his historical record and his future obituary, but also greatly harmed the GOP brand.

It is time for Barack Obama to throw down the gauntlet, and say to the GOP, “Bring It On!”

A Major Day For Civil Liberties And Civil Rights In NYC And Nationally!

Today was a day of major victories on civil liberties and civil rights, both in New York City and in the nation!

A federal court judge declared New York City’s “Stop And Frisk Law”, which targeted young black and Hispanic males in 90 percent of the cases of utilizing this law. People were being stopped based on racial profiling, simply because police chose to consider young black and Hispanic males as suspect, forcing them to be checked on whether they had guns or drugs, without any obvious reason to believe so, and with 88 percent of those stopped sent on their way without charges or arrests.

The federal court judge ruled that the “Stop And Frisk” law violated the 4th Amendment, and the 14th Amendment, and ordered that federal monitors watch over changes in the law.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly denounced the decision, and plan an appeal, but it is clear that minority youth are being victimized, with only a small percentage actually engaged in crimes and wrongdoing.

Attorney General Eric Holder also gave a speech today in San Francisco before the American Bar Association, and called for a new policy on those arrested and incarcerated for drug possession, which puts many people in prison, ruins their lives for the future when they leave prison, and if anything, teaches them about crime because of the environment they live in while in prison. It also undermines the ability of their families, including children, to advance out of poverty in the long run.

It is amazing that population has gone up about 40 percent since 1980, but 800 percent increase in people in prison and jails, and it is costing the nation $80 billion a year to house and supervise 2.2 million people in prison, dooming the drug offenders with a disadvantage they cannot overcome when they leave incarceration.

This is all due to Richard Nixon’s War on Drugs, which began in 1971, and has totally failed, another part of the Nixon tragedy for our nation.

One can be sure that the Republican Party will oppose both developments today, but it is essential to promote justice and equality in a country that claims to believe in freedom and liberty.

And the idea that 5 percent of the world (the US), houses 25 percent of all prisoners worldwide is atrocious, unacceptable, and great cannon fodder for our enemies overseas, besides being morally wrong! And much of this imprisonment is in the South, with private corporations making incarceration a profit making business, which is, in itself, despicable!

The Bill of Rights and other civil liberties is in constant combat with those who have no concern for these rights,but today has been a good day for civil liberties and civil rights!