Republicans versus the Constitution

Conservatives like to declare their love the the Constitution, but it’s more of an abusive-boyfriend kind of love.  Republicans have nominated a Presidential candidate, with overwhelming support, that would be a one-man constitutional crisis, according to Anthony D. Romero, ACLU Executive Director.

Trump’s mass deportation scheme would mean arresting more than 15,000 people a day on immigration charges, seven days a week, 365 days a year.  From a civil liberties standpoint, there is no conceivable mechanism to accomplish the roundup that Trump has promised while respecting basic constitutional rights….

Trump’s plan would undoubtedly violate the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition “against unreasonable searches and seizures.” [It would rely on tactics] like suspicionless interrogations and arrests, unjustified traffic stops, warrantless searches of workplaces and homes, and door-to-door raids of immigrant neighborhoods….

If Trump were to try and make good on his promise to speedily deport more than 11 million people, he could only do so by trampling on the Fifth Amendment’s due process protections….There is no way around it: Donald Trump’s deportation policy would be an unconstitutional apparatus of human misery, which would effectively turn large areas around the Southwest border into a police state….

Trump’s message couldn’t be any clearer: Immigrants and their American-born descendants, particularly Muslims, aren’t really Americans. Worse, they’re a potential fifth column subverting the nation from within. In a nation of immigrants, this sentiment is as un-American as it gets….

By singling out Muslims, his entry ban would violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment by explicitly disapproving of one religion and implicitly favoring other faiths….

Trump’s Muslim ban could also run afoul of international law, such as the Refugee Convention and the Convention Against Torture, by refusing asylum to people fleeing persecution and violence….

If a President Trump acted unilaterally — or somehow convinced Congress — to implement a surveillance program explicitly targeting Muslims because of their faith, he would face an impossible task of defending such a policy as constitutional in court….

The Supreme Court has warned that “a law targeting religious beliefs as such is never permissible.” This apparently doesn’t give Trump pause when he calls for unmerited law enforcement attention devoted to American Muslim communities across the country….

He has also said he would authorize torture in a manner that would comply with controlling “laws and treaties.” And if that doesn’t work — and it couldn’t — a President Trump would seek to change the laws to permit torture….That torturing people again is even on the agenda is nothing short of an abomination….

The international legal prohibition of the practice was enshrined in domestic law when the United States signed and ratified the Convention Against Torture decades ago. When President Ronald Reagan sent the convention to the Senate, he wrote that the Senate’s consent to ratify would “demonstrate unequivocally our desire to bring an end to the abhorrent practice of torture.”

During a February campaign stop in Texas, Trump had news for The New York Times and The Washington Post: If he wins the presidency, the Times and the Post will “have problems….”

Despite his lack of legal authority to “open up our libel laws,” a President Trump would almost certainly limit the individual rights enshrined in the First Amendment. Regularly on the campaign trail, he has shown contempt not only for free speech but also the freedom of the press and the right to protest….

Trump’s rhetoric and aggressive policing of his events also call into question how a Trump administration would respond to nonviolent protest. There have been at least 20 incidents of violence at Trump events since last October….

[I]t is important to remember those dark times when the U.S. government — often with public support — conspired against the nation’s most cherished ideals of liberty and equality for all. Among the more unsavory chapters of U.S. history are the Alien and Sedition Acts, Japanese-American imprisonment during World War II, and the long dark night of Jim Crow. Many Americans today rightfully look back at these injustices with horror and shame.

Under a Trump presidency, whole categories of people — Latinos and Hispanics, American Muslims, and reporters and vocal critics of Trump — could potentially be deprived of their constitutional rights because of their immigration status, their religion, their political beliefs, or their livelihoods. This is to say nothing of millions of women who might face prosecution for seeking an abortion if Trump once again changes his mind on this issue.

 

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Don Doumakes

Jan's husband, Bernie Sanders supporter, admin for this site.

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