02/13/17

It’s Time to Impeach the Judges

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

She endorsed him, and he paid respects at her funeral, but it appears that President Donald Trump hasn’t read Phyllis Schlafly’s book, The Supremacists: The Tyranny of Judges and How to Stop It. Rather than simply Tweet his disgust with rulings against his immigration executive order, Trump and his advisers should read the book, especially Schlafly’s Chapter 15. It offers a series of measures, including impeachment, to stop tyrannical judges.

Originally published in 2004, the book is available as a free download at Schlafly’s Eagle Forum website.

It’s a mess, a complete mess, is what Trump might say of the rulings against his executive order. But as President, he can do something about it. Yet, he has simply issued a series of Tweets, one of the latest being that “dangerous” foreigners are being allowed into the U.S. because of the judicial rulings. But since when do judges decide the foreign or immigration policies of the United States? Where is that written in law or the Constitution?

Two conservative scholars, Dr. John C. Eastman and Hans von Spakovsky, have clearly explained how the judicial rulings against the order are not based on law or the Constitution. What is lacking is an effort by the administration and Congress to remove or restrict the power of tyrannical judges who present their own liberal personal opinions as expressions of the facts and the law.

In matters like this, the media are careful to outline the bounds of acceptable legal opinion. Hence, it is assumed in much of the coverage and commentary that Trump has no option other than to abide by the judicial rulings. Nothing could be further from the truth, as Schlafly’s book explains.

In his column, Eastman writes, “…the notion that a single federal trial court judge can take it upon himself to determine national security and immigration policy, in the face of explicit determinations made by the president with the full support of law actually adopted by Congress, is so far beyond the judicial role as to pose a serious threat, not just to our national security, but to the rule of law.”

Columnist J.B. Williams argues that Trump’s new head of the Department of Homeland Security, General John F. Kelly, appeared to be taking orders from unelected judges instead of the Commander-in-Chief when he issued a statement promising “compliance” with the court order. This constituted a “mutiny” against the President, Williams argued. Kelly knows “that the order issued by Trump was both legal and necessary to the security of the United States and that the Commander-in-Chief had the full authority to issue that directive,” he wrote.

Trump and his advisers should read Schlafly’s book to understand the damage that has already been done by these tyrannical judges.

A lawyer who wrote more than a dozen books, Schlafly listed many examples of how judges have rewritten the Constitution, noting how they have:

  • censored the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools;
  • removed the Ten Commandments from public schools, buildings, and parks;
  • changed the definition of marriage;
  • banned the acknowledgment of God in public schools, at graduations, and at football games;
  • imposed taxes and spending of taxpayers’ money;
  • rewritten laws of criminal procedures;
  • dismantled laws that protect internal security; and
  • upheld racial preferences and quotas in hiring and college admissions

Schlafly wrote, “The cancer of judicial supremacy will not go away until the American people rise up and repudiate it. It’s time for the American people to notify their elected representatives, federal and state, that it is their mission to restore the Constitution with its proper balance among the three branches of the federal government. We must save self government from the rule of judges. The whole future of America depends on it.”

The future is now. The American people don’t have to wait for Judge Neil Gorsuch or others to be confirmed to the high court for this problem to be rectified. The President and the Congress can, and should, take action right now.

Schlafly’s steps to terminate the rule of judges and restore constitutional self-government include:

  • Reforming Senate rules so liberals are not able to defeat constitutionalist nominees by preventing the Senate from voting them up or down;
  • Curbing the power of the judicial supremacists by legislating exceptions to court jurisdiction;
  • Prohibiting the spending of federal money to enforce obnoxious decisions handed down by judicial supremacists;
  • Congress should impeach federal judges who make outrageous rulings that have no basis in the Constitution; and
  • Congress should prohibit federal courts from relying on foreign laws, administrative rules, or court decisions.

Columnist J.B. Williams wonders if Trump is really up to this task. He asks if the President has the backbone to fight and defeat these anti-American activists in the courts in order to “drain this swamp?” He then asks, “Do his appointees, like General Kelly and Jeff Sessions, really have what it takes to put these illegal activists in their place and return this country to the rule of constitutional law?”

In his statement on her passing, Trump called Phyllis Schlafly “a conservative icon who led millions to action, reshaped the conservative movement, and fearlessly battled globalism and the ‘kingmakers’ on behalf of America’s workers and families.”

One of her best and most relevant books was The Supremacists: The Tyranny of Judges and How to Stop It. Trump’s advisers should purchase or download copies of the book and provide them to members of the Cabinet and members of Congress. The book outlines how the president can go beyond Tweets in curbing the power of tyrannical judges.

If Trump and his Cabinet are serious about draining the swamp, writes J.B. Williams, the left must be stopped from using activist judges to thwart Trump’s attempts to secure the USA and enforce our laws. “Or else,” he writes, “the notion of draining this swamp is a joke!”

Trump is now in a position to confront the “kingmakers” in the courts. But he must do more than Tweet his disapproval of them. In his words, they are so-called judges. But recognizing their authority by filing another set of appeals is not the answer. He must seek their removal from the bench.


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

02/11/17

Trump’s Court Battle in Perspective

By: Roger Aronoff | Accuracy in Media

Now that a federal appeals court panel has upheld the freeze on President Donald Trump’s executive order on refugees and immigration, he will likely have his first case before the U.S. Supreme Court in the not too distant future. This may have been an unforced error on the part of the President. While I believe it was wrong and counter-productive for President Trump to belittle the Washington state judge and suggest that even a “bad high school student” would understand the law, the media, in their hyper-hostility toward Trump, are demonstrating their complete double standard. Where was their criticism of Obama when he attacked and pressured the courts to rule in his favor, or condemned them after rulings went against him? The press was missing in action.

President Obama wasn’t shy about criticizing the courts. He did so during his 2010 State of the Union address where he criticized the Supreme Court’s ruling on Citizens United. “With all due deference to separation of powers,” said Obama, “last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that, I believe, will open the floodgates for special interests, including foreign corporations, to spend without limit in our elections.” Justice Samuel A. Alito made news by mouthing “Not true” in response to the president’s comments.

Just “two days before oral arguments” in the Obamacare case known as King v. Burwell, writes Josh Blackman, a constitutional law professor at South Texas College of Law in Houston, Obama told Reuters, “In our view, [there was] not a plausible legal basis for striking [the IRS rule] down.”

As we reported at the time, a favorable outcome of King v. Burwell could have gutted Obamacare subsidies, but the media predictably “marshaled their forces in defense of Obama and his signature legislation.”

Why did the media, time and again, come to Obama’s aid? It was because the media were generally in support of Obama’s agenda, and more importantly, chose to cover for him and protect his legacy and political viability.

Yet, as Blackman writes, “It is wrong when Trump does it [criticize the courts]. It was wrong when Obama did it.”

Ilya Shapiro of the CATO Institute finds that the Supreme Court decided unanimously against the Obama administration 44 times, nearly 50 percent more than under Bill Clinton or George W. Bush.

In other words, Obama’s attempts to expand the power of the executive branch was widespread and pervasive, and he often could not win favor for his agenda, even from the two Supreme Court justices that he had named to the court. “But the reason Obama was hit with so many more unanimous decisions was because he went rogue early on, asking his staff to look for novel theories that would allow him to move forward with implementing his agenda,” writes Merrill Matthews for Rare. “And if that meant twisting the Constitution—and basic logic—to get it, so what?”

“President Obama…stands alone in his pointed and directed arguments to the Supreme Court,” argues Blackman. “The forty-fourth president, himself a former constitutional law lecturer, has set a new precedent for ex parte arguments [by one side only] to the Supreme Court.”

The media have also continued a double standard in their coverage of presidential executive power. One example of Obama’s executive overreach, although not tied to executive orders, is when he exchanged five high-ranking members of the Taliban held at Guantanamo for deserter Bowe Bergdahl “without following a statutory notice requirement.” Another, the Post writes, is the “job-destroying environmental regulations” created by Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency. And yet another was when Obama unilaterally changed an immigration law by ending the “wet foot dry foot” policy that had “allowed most Cuban migrants who reach U.S. soil to stay and become legal permanent residents after one year.” That was a sop to the communist regime that has gripped Cuba for nearly six decades. Where were the protests then?

On a recent segment of MSNBC’s “The 11th Hour with Brian Williams,” Ali Velshi, formerly of CNN and Al Jazeera, said that “We’re now into our third presidency where executive orders and White House action is deemed more important. George W. Bush, with the help of Dick Cheney, started this with a lot of executive orders. President Obama wasn’t shy about that. He approached it differently with a lot more legal backing to his executive orders. Donald Trump has taken this to a new level.”

Velshi’s statement is false in several ways. First, if Obama failed before the Supreme Court so many times, it is hard to argue that he had more legal backing for his actions.

Second, executive actions have been used more frequently by a number of presidents throughout history—far exceeding the usage by recent presidents. For example, The American Presidency Project at UC Santa Barbara finds that Franklin D. Roosevelt issued approximately 307 executive orders per year, dwarfing Obama’s 35 per year and George W. Bush’s 36 per year. In addition, Bill Clinton issued an average of 46 per year, Ronald Reagan 48 per year and Jimmy Carter 80 per year. President Trump hasn’t had enough time to demonstrate the number of executive orders that he will use over the next four or eight years.

It’s true that it’s not always about the quantity of executive orders, as much as it is about the substance of those orders, as Jonah Goldberg of National Review pointed out: “The entire issue of executive orders amounts to misdirection. The serious complaint is that Obama is abusing executive powers (which he is) not that he’s abusing executive orders (which he may or may not be).” Citing The Washington Post, Goldberg adds: “While Obama issued only 20 executive orders in 2013 (the lowest single-year total in more than a century), that same year he issued 41 presidential memoranda to the heads of departments and agencies, along with nine additional presidential ‘determinations’ designed to serve as the basis for bureaucratic behavior.”

While Trump’s rate of executive overreach is unknown, it is clear that he is not holding back in criticizing the courts. “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!” tweeted Trump.

Judge Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, told Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut (D) that he finds criticism in general of a judge’s integrity and independence to be “demoralizing and disheartening.”

This, of course, made major national news. But Obama himself criticized the courts and bullied them to rule in his favor.

This is the state of our news media, which goes to great lengths to protect Democrats and the progressive agenda, and goes on the attack against Obama’s successor. Predictably, the media are unwilling to acknowledge their blatant double standard on executive action and criticism of the courts.


Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi. He can be contacted at [email protected]. View the complete archives from Roger Aronoff.