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That a district judge would overrule the President of the United States on a matter of border security in wartime is absurd. And only someone ignorant of history can view President Trump’s disparagement of the judge blocking his travel ban as frightening…

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“Disheartening and demoralizing,” wailed Judge Neil Gorsuch of President Trump’s comments about the judges seeking to overturn his 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. from the Greater Middle East war zones.

What a wimp. Did our future justice break down crying like Sen. Chuck Schumer? Sorry, this is not Antonin Scalia. And just what horrible thing had our president said? A “so-called judge” blocked the travel ban, said President Trump. And the arguments in court, where 9th Circuit appellate judges were hearing the government’s appeal, were “disgraceful.” “A bad student in high school would have understood the arguments better.”

Did the president disparage a couple of judges? Yep. Yet compare his remarks to the tweeted screeds of Elizabeth Warren after her Senate colleague, Jeff Sessions, was confirmed as attorney general. Mr. Sessions, said Warren, represents “radical hatred.” And if he makes “the tiniest attempt to bring his racism, sexism & bigotry” into the Department of Justice, “all of us” will pile on.

Now this is hate speech. And it validates Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s decision to use Senate rules to shut her down. These episodes reveal much about America 2017.

They reflect, first, the poisoned character of our politics. The language of Mrs. Warren — that Mr. Sessions is stepped in “racism, sexism & bigotry” echoes the ugliest slander of the Hillary Clinton campaign, where she used similar words to describe Mr. Trump’s “deplorables.” Such language, reflecting as it does the beliefs of one-half of America about the other, rules out any rapprochement in America’s social or political life. This is pre-civil war language.

For how do you sit down and work alongside people you believe to be crypto-Nazis, Klansmen and fascists? Apparently, you don’t. Rather, you vilify them, riot against them, deny them the right to speak or to be heard. And such conduct is becoming common on campuses today.

As for President Trump’s disparagement of the judges, only someone ignorant of history can view that as frightening.

Thomas Jefferson not only refused to enforce the Alien & Sedition Acts of President John Adams, his party impeached Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase who had presided over one of the trials. Jackson defied Chief Justice John Marshall’s prohibition against moving the Cherokees out of Georgia to west of the Mississippi, where, according to the Harvard resume of Sen. Warren, one of them bundled fruitfully with one of her ancestors, making her part Cherokee.

When Chief Justice Roger Taney declared that President Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of the writ of habeas corpus violated the Constitution, Lincoln considered sending U.S. troops to arrest the chief justice. FDR proposed adding six justices to emasculate a Supreme Court of the “nine old men” he reviled for having declared some New Deal schemes unconstitutional.

President Eisenhower called his Supreme Court choices Earl Warren and William Brennan two of the “worst mistakes” he made as president. History bears Ike out. And here we come to the heart of the matter. Whether the rollout of the president’s temporary travel ban was ill-prepared or not, and whether one agrees or not about which nations or people should be subjected to extreme vetting, the president’s authority in the matter of protecting the borders and keeping out those he sees as potentially dangerous is universally conceded.

That a district judge would overrule the president of the United States on a matter of border security in wartime is absurd.

When politicians don black robes and seize powers they do not have, they should be called out for what they are — usurpers and petty tyrants. And if there is a cause upon which the populist right should unite, it is that elected representatives and executives make the laws and rule the nation. Not judges, and not justices.

Indeed, one of the mightiest forces that has birthed the new populism that imperils the establishment is that unelected justices like Warren and Brennan, and their progeny on the bench, have remade our country without the consent of the governed — and with never having been smacked down by Congress or the president.

Consider. Secularist justices de-Christianized our country. They invented new rights for vicious criminals as though criminal justice were a game. They tore our country apart with idiotic busing orders to achieve racial balance in public schools. They turned over centuries of tradition and hundreds of state, local and federal laws to discover that the rights to an abortion and same-sex marriage were there in Madison’s Constitution all along. We just couldn’t see them.

President Trump has warned the judges that if they block his travel ban, and this results in preventable acts of terror on American soil, they will be held accountable. As rightly they should.

Meanwhile, President Trump’s White House should use the arrogant and incompetent conduct of these federal judges to make the case not only for creating a new Supreme Court, but for Congress to start using Article III, Section 2, of the Constitution — to restrict the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, and to reclaim its stolen powers.

A clipping of the court’s wings is long overdue.

Republished with the gracious permission of Mr. Buchanan. Books by Pat Buchanan may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore
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6 replies to this post
  1. John Randolph of Roanoke famously warned of this sort of thing: jurists arrogating unto themselves the supreme powers and authority of governance. John Randolph of Roanoke rightly warned that the Book of Judges is followed shortly afterward by the Book of Kings.

  2. I have long believed that the federal district courts should be disbanded and the so-called Supreme Court renamed the National Court (the one and only such) and its jurisdiction severely limited to only Presidential and Congressional acts, national matters. This latter would mean that the National Court would rule upon President Trumps’ order but not upon matters such as abortion. When you can have five reprobates upon a kangaroo tribunal decide moral matters for over three-hundred million you live under a totalitarian regime, not a democratic one. Even state supreme courts should be limited in their jurisdictions as I believe that if the people of a small town in mid-Ohio do not want pornographic material sold or published within their town limits that is their prerogative and should not fall within the jurisdiction of a tribunal where five can decide the matter, likely based upon their own “predilections” rather than law. I don’t see where such material falls under the freedom to criticize government in speech, the press, by assembly, or a petition of government for redress of grievances. Such decisions do more than simply stretch the law, they impose the ideology of those writing the decision.

  3. While one hears lots of caterwauling on all sides, I am beginning to believe these are great days, constitutionally. When President, Congress, and the Court are all in agreement, it can be dangerous for the security of the country and the freedom of the citizenry. When they are squabbling like dogs over a stray cat, it is heartening.

    Would that this had happened under the Imperial Presidency of Barrack Obama, or that of Dubya Bush, or that of the Priapic Bill, or even of Mr. Buchanan’s former employer, Richard Nixon (of Ruritanian Palace Guards fame.) Even FDR had opposition from the courts. (As did the ‘Other’ Roosevelt, the instigator of Progressive Presidency.)

    It is, however, expected that, human hypocrisy being what it is, partisans will cheer for restraints on The Other Side, and condemn restraints on Our Side. Looking at the Constitution other than through the lens of Party or Faction, we perceive that War has always been the main excuse for extension of the power of the State. I am no more comfortable with a bloated State run by “Conservatives” than one run by “Liberals”. Once in Power, the labels of party and faction seem to dissolve under the heading of Patrician or Optimate.

    So, in my ignorance, I cheer for conflict between the branches of Federal government, and between the various levels. It is when they all agree, as noted, that our liberties are most in danger.

  4. Of course the judiciary should restrict and balance the president’s power, especially in our days of presidential power run amok. Though I’m not quite sure what war Mr. Buchanan speaks of, wartime is precisely when the judiciary would be most vital in preventing the sacrifice of liberty for the sake of imagined security. This world Mr. Buchanan is living in—in which it is the judicial, not the executive, branch which has horded to itself unconstitutional power, and the executive branch which needs to bolster its authority—has very little in common with our country.

  5. What is demoralizing about the comments or Mr. Naas and Mr. Bonner is that they miss the obvious. The judge failed to uphold the relevant law. Mark Twain would not have been wrong in saying that he flung it down and danced upon it. It is equally demoralizing that the obvious point which Mr. Buchanan makes has to be made at this time in our history.

    • Mister Uzzle, with all due respect, I believe the “obvious point” is that neither an Imperial Court nor an Imperial Presidency is good for the United States. Nor an Imperial Congress, for that matter.

      I must say this, in bold, WE ARE NOT IN A WAR! We are dealing with thugs, murderers, and international criminals. But it is not a war. Such rhetorical flourishes serve only to empower an Imperium and shred Constitutional safeguards.

      And, if we WERE in a war, I should ask, what good is a form of government which is good only in a time of peace? The Founders were well aware how the tocsin of fear could drown out the call for adherence to our Constitution. (Being classically trained, they were conversant with what happened to Greece and Rome, and how temporary war measures soon become permanent features of government. — I would remind here of the original meaning of “emperor”.)

      I sincerely appreciate the reference to Sam Clemens, but would recall he, above all others, was a critic of an Imperial America.

      My main, obvious point, remains — when POTUS and SCOTUS and Congress (COTUS?) are all at odds, the Citizen has a chance to breathe freely. I don’t care which Party/Faction/Sect is running the government, so long as the branches are limiting each other’s powers, as the Constitution was designed to have happen..

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