Mid-Day Digest

Oct. 31, 2018

THE FOUNDATION

“The true key for the construction of everything doubtful in a law is the intention of the law-makers.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • The Constitution and its amendments mean what its authors said.
  • Deranged by their hatred of Trump, leftists refuse to hear the president’s words.
  • Trump warns migrant caravan, “You will not enter.”
  • The SPLC has some new hateful rules for social media.
  • Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists, and Short Cuts.

IN BRIEF

Who Decides What the 14th Amendment Means?

Nate Jackson and Mark Alexander

If you want to understand what the Constitution means, read The Federalist Papers. In those essays, the Constitution’s primary author, James Madison, as well as leading defenders Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, explain what the Founders meant in the legal document that established our government. Likewise, if you want to understand what the 14th Amendment means, revisit the words of its authors. Specifically, let’s look at the clause “subject to the jurisdiction thereof,” which is being debated after President Donald Trump’s proposal to eliminate by executive order birthright citizenship for babies born to illegal aliens in America.

Michigan Sen. Jacob Howard, who sponsored Section 1 of the 14th Amendment (the Citizenship Clause), noted in 1866 that “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” was “simply declaratory of what I regard as the law of the land already.” He stated further, “This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, [or] who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers [emphasis added].”

In 1873, the Supreme Court concluded (albeit in nonbinding comments indirectly related to the case) that “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” was meant to exclude the children of “ministers, consuls, and citizens or subjects of foreign states born within the United States [emphasis added].”

However, in 1898’s Wong Kim Ark decision, the Court ruled that a man born in the U.S. to Chinese-immigrant parents was a citizen, as were “all children here born of resident aliens.” That still doesn’t settle the question of illegal aliens.

Essentially, what this debate is about is what all contemporary constitutional debates are about — whether the Constitution is to be understood as our Founders and subsequent authors of amendments intended it to be understood (Rule of Law), or, as Democrats insist, however the political majority du jour wants to interpret it to comport with its contemporary political agenda (rule of men). As Thomas Jefferson warned, the latter means one thing: “The Constitution … is a mere thing of wax in the hands of [those who will] twist and shape into any form they please.”

Unfortunately, not a few Republicans and other conservatives insist that Trump’s interpretation is unconstitutional, but we believe this is because they fundamentally misread the 14th Amendment and its authors. To be sure, whether Trump has the authority to, by executive order, undo decades of precedent is another matter — one he intends for the courts to help decide.

Undoing this unconstitutional damage will require all three branches, however. It is necessary for Congress to pass a law reestablishing the originalist interpretation of the 14th Amendment, because the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA) of 1952 also establishes in U.S. Code what “jurisdiction” means, and, arguably, that includes children born to illegals — at least by the interpretation of the State Department. Sen. Lindsey Graham, who recently found his spine in the Brett Kavanaugh debacle, has introduced a bill to set the record straight.

Even Harry Reid was right about this in 1993.

Bottom line: The 14th Amendment was proposed and ratified because of concern that a future Congress might alter the 1866 Civil Rights Act granting citizenship to slaves. Ironically, the argument for birthright citizenship for children born to illegals grossly alters the meaning of the 14th Amendment — and it’s a case study of how Democrats erode the plain language of our Constitution.

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Leftist Lie: Trump Is Responsible for Anti-Semitism

Thomas Gallatin

What does Trump Derangement Syndrome look like? Well, the American people have been served up a prime example in the days following the anti-Semitic murderous attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh last Saturday. Almost immediately, much of the mainstream media was either tacitly or blatantly blaming President Donald Trump for motivating the anti-Semitic murderer. Never mind the fact that the murderer hated Trump. But when it comes to Trump Derangement, cogent facts that demonstrate the absolute absurdity of a claim don’t matter. The derangement rage must be stoked.

In that light, when Trump visited Tree of Life to offer his condolences to the families and friends of the victims of this heinous crime, upwards of 1,000 anti-Trump protesters descended, determined to politicize the event. One organizer declared, “President Trump’s words, actions, and polices have espoused and emboldened the type of violence and hatred our community so tragically endured with the massacre of 11 Jews in their place of worship. The president’s visit on Tuesday, much like his ideas and his presidency, is unwelcome in our city and our country.” But the truth is, had Trump decided not to visit, he would have been blasted for failing to acknowledge the tragedy.

So what were Trump’s words, actions, and policies that were supposedly responsible for motivating this Jew-hating madman? When Trump first learned of the attack, he quickly denounced it as “monstrous” and said, “[It will] require all of us working together to extract the hateful poison of anti-Semitism from our world. This was an anti-Semitic attack at its worst. The scourge of anti-Semitism cannot be ignored, cannot be tolerated, and it cannot be allowed to continue.” He added, “It must be confronted and condemned everywhere it rears its ugly head. We must stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters to defeat anti-Semitism and vanquish the forces of hate.” So how exactly is he rhetorically fanning the flames of anti-Semitism?

Well, maybe it’s exposed by his actions and polices. After previous presidents had given mere lip service to moving the U.S. embassy to the city of Jerusalem, Trump acted upon it. That, of course, triggered howls from the Left, but Trump has taken the concerns of the nation of Israel seriously and demonstrated his commitment to recognizing its legitimacy in the face of longtime regional opposition. As Dennis Prager (a Jew) argues, Trump is “the most pro-Israel president since Harry Truman.”

The truth is that it has been the Left that has long played the divisive identity-politics game in order to stoke hatred for the “other.” So when Trump says and acts one way, leftists are stuck arguing he did the exact opposite.

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Top Headlines

  • Consumer confidence hits 18-year high (Bloomberg)
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham to introduce bill ending birthright citizenship (The Hill)
  • Migrant caravan demands transport as second group enters Mexico (Associated Press)
  • Brett Kavanaugh turns down over $600K raised by GoFundMe page; meanwhile, Christine Ford rakes in more than $1 million (The Daily Wire)
  • Mueller wants the FBI to look at a scheme to discredit him with assault allegations (The Atlantic)
  • Five states could wreck their economies in futile fight against “climate change” (Investor’s Business Daily)
  • U.S. indicts nine Chinese cyber spies (The Washington Free Beacon)
  • FedEx drops NRA deal by snail-mail (Reuters)
  • Thanks Obama: Five freed from Gitmo in exchange for Bergdahl join Taliban’s political office in Qatar (Military Times)
  • Not humor: Data suggests Democrats’ rhetoric may be inciting violence against the unborn (The Babylon Bee)
  • Policy: There is a Republican plan to cover preexisting conditions — and the House already passed it (Washington Examiner)
  • Policy: Birthright citizenship: A nutty policy we’re probably stuck with (National Review)

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

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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.

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

FEATURED ANALYSIS

Trump Warns Migrant Caravan, ‘You Will Not Enter’

Louis DeBroux

With the midterm elections just days away, a showdown is brewing between President Donald Trump and a caravan of thousands of Central American migrants, putting the issue of illegal immigration right back on the front burner of the political stove.

The caravasion started with just over a thousand migrants, but it has grown to an estimated 7,000 in the last two weeks. And there are two more caravans behind it. While sympathizers describe these migrants as an oppressed group fleeing gang violence, the group looks more like an invading force as it approaches the southern U.S. border.

Immigrants pleading for mercy and accommodation by a host country don’t chant “One way or another, we will pass.” Immigrants don’t riot and tear down fences and barriers at the border, as the caravan did when stopped at the Guatemala/Mexico border. Immigrants fleeing oppression and violence wave the flag of the country they seek to be adopted into, not of the nation they are fleeing. Immigrants respect the laws of the country to which they seek entry.

Despite warnings from President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the caravan continues to work its way to the United States. That, of course, prompts the question: If America is such a heartless, racist country, why do these migrants not stop in Mexico and seek asylum there?

No, they’re just demanding transportation through Mexico.

This week Trump declared, “To those in the Caravan, turnaround [sic], we are not letting people into the United States illegally. Go back to your Country and if you want, apply for citizenship like millions of others are doing!”

For reasons of principle as well as practicality, President Trump must stop this invasion. To fail to do so will simply result in additional waves of migrants trying to force their way into the U.S.

Earlier this year, declaring a crisis, President Trump ordered National Guard troops to the border, having deployed 2,100 to this point. Last week, Defense Secretary James Mattis announced he was deploying 800 military troops to the U.S./Mexico border, and this week he announced “Operation Faithful Patriot,” increasing that number to 5,200 troops, in addition to the 2,100 National Guard troops.

The forces will consist of army engineers, “combat engineering battalions with expertise in building temporary vehicle barriers,” three medium-lift helicopter companies, military police units, medical and logistics units, and three C-130 Hercules and a Boeing C-17 transport plane" ready to deploy [Border Patrol] personnel wherever they need to be at any time.“

Under the Posse Comitatus Act, military troops are not allowed to engage in law enforcement activities, meaning they can’t directly engage migrants. However, with the Army and Marine Corps troops handling logistical support, Border Patrol agents are freed up to secure ports of entry and intercept those attempting to cross the border illegally.

President Trump minced no words in taking a hard line, warning, "If [the migrants] want to come into the country, you have to apply, like other people… This caravan is not — they’re wasting their time.” And unlike the Obama administration’s “catch and release” policy, Trump stated emphatically that “we’re catching; we’re not releasing.”

That leads to the question of what to do with these thousands of migrants when they reach the border.

President Trump said his administration will build tent cities for the asylum-seekers, and no one in the caravan will be allowed to enter without following the legal procedures. Current procedure for the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) regarding asylum-seekers is to detain them in shelters on the Mexican side of the border until the CBP is prepared to process their requests.

In order to be granted asylum, migrants must prove a legitimate fear of persecution in their home country as a result of their race, religion, nationality, political ideology, or as a member of a persecuted social group.

Until recently that has been easy because, as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service spokesman Michael Bars explained, “The extremely low bar for establishing credible fear is ripe for fraud and abuse … a credible fear referral doesn’t equal asylum status, but it does earn a free ticket into the U.S., allowing individuals to disappear into the interior to live and work illegally.”

Hence President Trump’s determination to hold applicants in tent cities pending the resolution of their asylum application.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been narrowing the requirements for asylum, including disqualifying asylum applications presented solely on the basis of domestic abuse or gang violence. While percentages of approved applications have been high to this point, these policy changes will likely reduce that number.

While Trump’s critics warn that his hardline stance will result in an electoral backlash, they seem to forget that decades of refusal to deal with illegal immigration by former presidents and members of Congress is exactly how Donald Trump, a man with no prior political experience, defeated 16 highly qualified Republican primary challengers, and then a Democrat candidate with decades of political experience and a fearsome political machine behind her.

Trump alone made dealing with illegal immigration the unapologetic centerpiece of his campaign, and the American electorate rewarded him with the nation’s highest office.

So while the politicians and pundits continue to be baffled by Trump’s unshakeable support among his base, and a growing number of independents, the truth is quite simple: Agree or disagree with his policies, Donald Trump is a politician who actually keeps his promises.

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MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

OPINION IN BRIEF

Hans von Spakovsky: “The 14th Amendment doesn’t say that all persons born in the U.S. are citizens. It says that ‘[a]ll persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof’ are citizens. That second, critical, conditional phrase is conveniently ignored or misinterpreted by advocates of ‘birthright’ citizenship. Critics erroneously believe that anyone present in the United States has ‘subjected’ himself ‘to the jurisdiction’ of the United States, which would extend citizenship to the children of tourists, diplomats, and illegal aliens alike. But that is not what that qualifying phrase means. Its original meaning refers to the political allegiance of an individual and the jurisdiction that a foreign government has over that individual. The fact that a tourist or illegal alien is subject to our laws and our courts if they violate our laws does not place them within the political ‘jurisdiction’ of the United States as that phrase was defined by the framers of the 14th Amendment.”

SHORT CUTS

For the record: “This caravan is different than what we’ve seen in the past. [There is] organization at a higher level than we have seen before. We’ve seen violence … and as they pass other international borders we’ve seen them behave in a nature that we have not seen in the past.” —Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy, U.S. Northern command

Non Compos Mentis: “Birthright citizenship has been part of the U.S. Constitution since 1868. No flood then, no flood now.” —NPR’s Eric Deggans (By the way: “How long has gun ownership been part of the U.S. Constitution?” —Sean Davis)

Hyper hypocrisy: “Eliminating #birthrightcitizenship would be incredibly harmful & is part of this administration’s radical, hateful agenda to stoke fear in our communities and contribute to many people’s already very real fear of deportation.” —Planned Parenthood Action (Of course, babies have to be BORN to receive citizenship…)

Village Idiot: “We always had a turnkey, totalitarian state — all we needed was an excuse, and all the institutions were in place to turn this into pure fascism. If we don’t stop [Trump] now, then we will have a revolution for real. Then there will be blood in the streets.” —actor James Cromwell

Braying Jackass I: “The right-wing group killed the woman in Charlottesville. This guy is a right-winger who killed the people in the synagogue. The right-winger sent bombs to CNN and to Democrats. I don’t see Democrats killing people.” —CNN’s Don Lemon

Braying Jackass II: “We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right.” —Don Lemon

Oh, the humanity! “I’m just so saddened by this thing happening to our country. It’s making me fat. I hear what [Trump] said now, and I have to go eat pancakes now, and pancakes are very fattening.” —Barbra Streisand

And last… “The ‘calls for [Trump] to cool his overheated rhetoric’ are what I’ve been calling ‘civility bulls—t’ for years. It’s always only aimed at the other side. They want you to stop fighting them with vigor, and they have no intention of stopping fighting you. Trump obviously know[s] this and can’t be played.” —Ann Althouse

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher

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