Mid-Day Digest

Jun. 26, 2018

THE FOUNDATION

“Government, in my humble opinion, should be formed to secure and to enlarge the exercise of the natural rights of its members; and every government, which has not this in view, as its principal object, is not a government of the legitimate kind.” —James Wilson (1791)

IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • Does Trump have the authority to turn back illegals? Yes.
  • The real obstruction is coming from the DOJ and FBI.
  • The Supreme Court punts on the florist’s religious liberty case.
  • When it comes to free speech, silence from the ACLU is deafening.
  • Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

IN BRIEF

On Trump’s Authority, Due Process and ‘Racism’

Nate Jackson

“We cannot have a system of catch and release. We are a sovereign nation. We have to secure our borders. And so we just simply cannot have a situation where people are apprehended, they’re released, they don’t return to court, and they know they’re able to do that.” Was that President Donald Trump on another tirade about immigration? Was it one of his officials earning the harassment leveled at them by Democrats? No, it was Jeh Johnson, secretary of homeland security for Barack Obama.

Those comments set up Trump’s recent actions, both in terms of establishing zero-tolerance prosecution policies at the border and then stepping back with last Wednesday’s executive order. Then came yesterday’s report that the Border Patrol has suspended prosecutions of adults crossing the border with children — unless, the Associated Press notes, “they had criminal history or the child’s welfare was in question.” DHS says it’s “out of resources” to detain families.

Meanwhile, Trump continued his musings about immediate deportation, saying, “People must simply be stopped at the Border and told they cannot come into the U.S. illegally. Children brought back to their country. If this is done, illegal immigration will be stopped in it’s tracks — and at very little, by comparison, cost.”

Does Trump have the authority to do this? Yes, under 8 U.S.C. §1182(f), which empowers the president to turn away at the border immigrants he deems unfit for entry. It’s the same authority he has for the much-maligned travel ban that the Supreme Court upheld just today. In other words, he’s not “denying due process,” as the Leftmedia would have you believe; he’d be enforcing the law.

But none of the actual facts matter to the Left. Hollywood’s Rob Reiner opined on the only angle Democrats are interested in for the 2018 elections: “This is pure and simple racism — that’s all this is. [Trump is] hoping that the people who support him will be ginned up and running to the polls to make sure that brown people don’t come into America. … It’s a fascist playbook.” Translation: If you support border security and law enforcement, you’re a racist.

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The Real Obstruction Is Coming From the DOJ/FBI

Thomas Gallatin

On what grounds is the Robert Mueller investigation continuing? The fact is the recent inspector general report has essentially knocked the legs out from under the stated basis for the special counsel. No credible evidence of any Donald Trump/Russia collusion conspiracy has turned up, and the primary impetus for the whole charge of collusion is known to be the dubious Hillary Clinton-funded Christopher Steele dossier. Yet Mueller continues apparently directing his investigation toward an obstruction charge. That was clearly the original and admitted desire of disgraced former FBI Director James Comey and the excuse given for his unethical behavior in leaking his Trump memos to the press.

National Review’s Andrew McCarthy argues, “Under the rationale adopted by the IG with the implicit endorsement of the Justice Department, there is no basis for a prosecutor to investigate the president for obstruction. Even if it were the special counsel’s place to analyze the chief executive’s motivation in exercising his constitutional prerogatives (and it is not), there were patently legitimate reasons to support the president’s actions; in light of his broad discretion, the Justice Department must assume he acted on them.” McCarthy adds, “If the Justice Department accepts IG Horowitz’s premise that it must not second-guess the discretionary decision-making of FBI and Department officials when there are legitimate grounds to support their decisions, on what basis may a special counsel second-guess the president’s decision-making when — as [Deputy Attorney General Rod] Rosenstein himself has argued with respect to Comey — there are legitimate grounds to support the president’s decisions?”

So, again, why is the Mueller investigation continuing? The answer appears to be twofold. First, certain individuals within the Justice Department and FBI don’t want their actions and decisions publicly scrutinized. As a result, if anyone can be seriously accused of engaging in obstruction it is the DOJ/FBI. Both agencies have continued the practice of slow-walking and simply ignoring congressional requests for documents related to both the Clinton email and Russian interference investigations.

House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) issued subpoenas to the FBI for records related to the bureau’s use of informants in its Trump investigation. As of Monday, the FBI had failed to fully comply with the subpoenas. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) is clearly running out of patience and blasted the DOJ/FBI: “New reports of DOJ/FBI compliance with document requests are NOT accurate. While they have turned over additional documents, the new documents represent a small percentage of what they owe. The notion that DOJ/FBI have been forthcoming with Congress is false.”

Second, Democrats aim to maintain the cloud of a Russia collusion conspiracy over Trump’s presidency for political gain. Over the weekend, Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) was at a high-dollar Democrat Party retreat, where he opined, “If you get me one more glass of wine, I’ll tell you stuff only Bob Mueller and I know. If you think you’ve seen wild stuff so far, buckle up. It’s going to be a wild couple of months.” After being called out for his “drunken” remark by Trump, Warner claimed to have been joking, though he doubled down, stating, “You know how seriously I take this investigation.”

How much longer will this increasingly baseless Mueller investigation be tolerated? Trump is well within his authority to pull the plug, though doing so would likely be too politically damaging. In the midst of the recent loss of all rational judgment over the enforcement of immigration law, ending the investigation may create similar emotion-based insanity.

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Top Headlines

  • Supreme Court rules for Trump in challenge to his administration’s travel ban (CNBC)
  • U.S. attorney’s report: CBP and ICE both catch more criminals than FBI (CNS News)
  • Homeland Security official warned with decapitated animal on his porch (The Daily Wire)
  • Red Hen owner followed Sarah Sanders’ family to protest their presence at different restaurant (Washington Examiner)
  • Supreme Court rules against California law targeting pro-life pregnancy centers (USA Today)
  • Army training will now focus on actual battlefield skills, not social issues (The Washington Times)
  • Harley-Davidson will shift manufacturing overseas to avoid tariffs (Reason)
  • Supreme court sidesteps North Carolina dispute over Republican election maps (Reuters)
  • Judge throws out SF and Oakland climate suits against big oil (San Francisco Chronicle)
  • Humor report: Abortion doctor thought he had sworn “Hypocritical Oath” (The Babylon Bee)
  • Policy: Chief Justice explains why Congress needs to act on Internet sales tax (The Daily Signal)
  • Policy: A bigger arsenal for a lasting peace (Hoover Institution)

For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.

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Note From the Editor

The deadline to complete The Patriot Post’s funding requirements into the summer is quickly approaching, and we have some ground to cover to meet that goal. The hardest part of being a donor-supported organization is asking for your help — but we must. We still have approximately $229,000 left to raise in the next 8 days. If you find today’s edition useful, please help us toward the finish line today. Thank you for standing alongside us as we work to keep the timeless message of Liberty in front of conservatives around the nation. —Nate Jackson, Managing Editor

TODAY’S MEME

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For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

TODAY’S CARTOON

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For more of today’s top cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

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BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

FEATURED ANALYSIS

SCOTUS Punts on Florist’s Religious Liberty

Lewis Morris

On Monday the U.S. Supreme Court vacated a unanimous Washington State Supreme Court ruling that a florist violated the state’s anti-discrimination laws by refusing on religious grounds to provide a floral arrangement for a same-sex wedding. The High Court ordered Washington’s court to rehear the case in light of its recent decision in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to create a customized wedding cake for a same-sex wedding.

In Arlene’s Flowers v. Washington, shop owner Barronelle Stutzman was sued by the state of Washington and two homosexual men who solicited her services. One of the men was a longtime customer of Stutzman. When he asked her to create a floral arrangement for his wedding to his male partner, she respectfully refused. Stuztman said that creating the floral arrangement for a same-sex wedding violated her freedom of expression and ran counter to her religious beliefs. She offered to sell the customer a pre-arranged setting or loose flowers. She even gave him the names of other florists who could provide the services he sought. But that wasn’t good enough.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson sought to make an example of Stutzman, dragging her through an expensive legal battle that could shut down her business. Ferguson was true to form of the typical leftist crusader. He was not content to live and let live; he wanted to force Stutzman to comply, accept and even celebrate something that ran counter to her beliefs.

This is very similar to what happened to Colorado baker Jack Phillips, who was persecuted for his religious views in refusing to create a special cake for a same-sex wedding. As with Stutzman, providing something off the shelf was not good enough for Phillips’s customers or the Colorado state authorities. They wanted him to play ball or face the threat of having his business destroyed.

The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission that the state of Colorado had been particularly hostile to Phillips’s religious views. The justices declined, however, to go deeper and establish a broad definition of what constitutes infringement on religious liberties or freedom of speech and whether that infringement justifies the refusal to provide specially created goods or services. Instead, the majority pointedly noted that the decision applied to Phillips alone.

That being said, it seems hard to imagine that the Washington state court will rule any differently in rehearing Stutzman’s case. So, it is a distinct possibility that the Supreme Court has not heard the last of her.

In Stutzman’s favor, though, is the fact that the Supreme Court in Masterpiece and Arlene’s Flowers has made clear that states must neutrally apply antidiscrimination laws. Religious objections to what someone views as compelled speech cannot be viewed differently than other types of compelled speech.

That is a major distinction that the media deliberately leaves out in reporting these cases. The public is left with the perception that Phillips and Stutzman are deliberately discriminating against homosexuals by refusing them service altogether. That is not the case.

“I think the worst part is when they say I won’t serve gay people,” Stutzman has said. “That’s just not true. I’ve never discriminated against anyone in my life.”

These business owners are trying to protect their artistic expression under the First Amendment. For now, the Supreme Court is letting the lower courts search for a solution that will protect these people from running afoul of antidiscrimination laws. That will only work so long as certain states don’t try to use those laws to wedge the public into accepting viewpoints that violate their religious or moral values. It’s one thing to allow same-sex marriage; it’s another entirely to force people who object to provide specific artistic services in celebration of it.

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MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

OPINION IN BRIEF

Dennis Prager: “As awful as separation from a parent is, [illegal immigrant] children were not treated like animals in cages but transferred to the care of relatives or foster homes, or housed with other detained children where they were provided with room, board, education, sports facilities, etc. By contrast, Jewish children separated from their parents by Nazi guards were sent to gas chambers to die a gruesome, painful death by their lungs being filled with poisonous gas. And their parents almost always eventually suffered the same fate unless they were worked, starved or tortured to death. Comparing the two is not only a trivialization of the Holocaust; it is actually a form of Holocaust denial. If Jewish children were treated by the Nazis the same way Central American children have been by America, then everything we know about the Holocaust is false. Jewish children weren’t subjected to torturous medical experimentation, and they weren’t gassed and cremated. They were simply separated from their Jewish parents for a finite period of time, sent to stay with Jewish relatives or provided for by foster families while their parents were detained pending due-process legal proceedings. According to Donny Deutsch, Michael Hayden and all the leftists comparing America and Trump to the Nazis, Jewish children weren’t gassed; they played soccer while waiting to be reunited with their parents.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “My grandfather once told me that there are two kinds of people: those who work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was less competition there.” —Indira Gandhi (1917-1984)

Upright: “Civility and respect always prevails over harassment and disrespect.” —Rep. Steve Scalise, who was nearly murdered last year by a crazed socialist

Good cop, bad cop, part I: “In the crucial months ahead, we must strive to make America beautiful again. Trump’s daily lack of civility has provoked responses that are predictable but unacceptable. As we go forward, we must conduct elections in a way that achieves unity from sea to shining sea.” —Nancy Pelosi, who recently called a border wall “immoral,” addressing Maxine Waters’s “push back” remark

Good cop, bad cop, part II: “If you disagree with a politician, organize your fellow citizens to action and vote them out of office. No one should call for the harassment of political opponents. That’s not right. That’s not American.” —Chuck Schumer

Revisionist protest: “I have nothing to do with the way people decide to protest. Protest is the democratic way as long as it is peaceful. I believe in peaceful protest. It is guaranteed to you in a democracy.” —Maxine Waters in a message quite different from her harassment diatribe

Alpha Jackass: “If you vote for Trump, then you, the voter — you, not Donald Trump — are standing at the border like Nazis going, ‘You here. You here.’” —MSNBC contributor Donny Deutsch

And last… “Immigration issue is hard b/c our sovereignty requires us to have borders. Our history requires us to remember we are all immigrants. Our constitution requires due process. And our Judeo-Christian values requires us to show compassion. No other nation has to balance all that!” —Sen. Marco Rubio

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher