Owatonna, MN Correspondent-Until recent decades, the Supreme Court upholding an executive order (EO) issued by the President wouldn’t be particularly noteworthy. Challenging EOs is a normal, healthy component of this country’s system of checks and balances used to ensure none of the three branches of government acquires too much power. But now that politics has become the overriding factor in choosing Supreme Court justices, this decision is troublesome for several reasons.
The main reason is the ever-expanding use of “national security” to justify presidential and legislative decisions. Of course, we all want our nation to be safe and secure. But decisions like the wholesale banning of travel from countries our government perceives as dangerous continues us down the slippery slope of blaming people who “aren’t like us” for the crimes of a handful of actual evil-doers.
Yes, Muslim terrorists were responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Yes, Muslim terrorists have succeeded in committing other terrorist acts here and abroad. But to disrupt the lives of ninety-nine percent of a country’s population, thinking it will thwart the criminal element who trade in terror is just another version of the TSA running airport travelers through the cattle call known as airport security. Honest, law-abiding people are presumed guilty until we prove ourselves innocent. This is in direct conflict with the founding principles of our Constitution: presumed innocence.
A president who enjoys a political majority on the Supreme Court may now be emboldened to issue more ambitious EOs that will consolidate his political power to hide behind the bogus excuse of “national security” to convince the electorate that his EO is necessary. Also, in this era of legislative gridlock, there has been a significant jump in new president’s rescinding orders of the preceding president. Even though EOs maybe rescinded at any time by a sitting president, sooner or later a president may be tempted to stage a de facto coup and seek to become the undisputed ruler of the country by flooding the system with power-enhancing EOs that will be upheld by a sympathetic Supreme Court and Congress. The only way to prevent that scenario is to force Congress to break their gridlock and resume passing compromise laws on issues of national security and maintaining a balance of power between the branches of government.
Gastonia, NS Correspondent-The Travel Ban was a good idea executed poorly. The simple fact is that there are nations on Earth run by people whose hatred for us is so virulent, whose loathing for our way of life is so strong, that it’s hard to trust anyone from those countries who wants to enter our country for any reason.
That said, some level of discretion must be used when deciding how hard to slam the door. The 4-year-old child who went back to Yemen to visit his grandparents and now wants to come home to his parents probably hasn’t been indoctrinated as a full-blown terrorist in between bites of cake and games of…whatever kid’s game they play in Yemen. That’s what got Trump in trouble in the first place, and while the ban is partially reinstated, there are still caveats in place.
I don’t think we’ll ever have another president quite like Donald J., one who wields his executive power one moment like a rapier, the next like a broadsword, the next like a warhammer. Given the amount of international scorn leveled at the U.S. over the travel ban, I see it somewhat unlikely that any future president will undertake that level of autocracy.