By Lanny Carruthers
After reading an article about Democrat lawmakers in California boycotting border wall contractors, the song California Dreamin’ by The Mamas & Papas started playing in my head for no apparent reason. I guess it was just the title of the song that sounded appropriate for the thoughts going through my mind…or more appropriately the minds of Californians. California public officials are demonstrating their ignorance and/or wanton disregard for the U.S. Constitution and actions of Congress. California public officials also do not realize they are attempting once again a principle of the Confederacy as part of their argument against Trump’s border wall.
Recently the Berkley City Council approved an ordinance banning the city from contracting with companies involved in the construction of the border wall. Subsequently, the council expanded the policy prohibiting investment with companies taking part in “designing, building or financing” the wall. California Assemblyman Phil Ting wrote, “This is a wall of shame and we don’t want any part of it…Californians build bridges, not walls.”
Assemblyman Ting’s statement that “we don’t want any part of it” rings a bell from 1861. Noted Civil War historian Shelby Foote spoke about Southern secession saying, “The Constitution had not been amended in sixty-one years. The Emancipation Amendment was the first amendment in sixty-one years and the first amendment that had anything to do with people’s private property. The people of the South saw this amendment coming and said they wanted nothing to do with the Union and wanted to get out of it.” Following the election of Abraham Lincoln, many states seceded and formed the Confederate States of America.
It has been written that Californians wish to secede from the United States. After the election of President Trump, the group, Yes California, is collecting signatures needed to place a secessionist question on the 2018 ballot. Its goal is to have California become its own country, separate and apart from the United States. I am very tempted to click on their website (www.yescalifornia.org) to find out where to mail a check to help them out. Provided they still accept incoming mail from Alabama.
“We cannot change the hearts and minds of those people of the South, but we can make war so terrible … [and] make them so sick of war that generations would pass away before they would again appeal to it.” – Union Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman.”
However; Californians should look at historical precedent and see that, even though secession was and is justified, secession from the Union was not allowed by a Maverick President (known as President Abraham Lincoln) who did not follow the law, precedent, or prevailing public opinion. Wonder if Lincoln, Barack Hussein Obama and John McCain are related? President Lincoln ordered, fellow Americans of the South to be brutally punished for misbehaving in order to preserve the Union. Private property was destroyed or stolen while leaving men, women, and children destitute without shelter, resources, and basic sustenance of life. It will be an interesting event to watch and see how liberal Democrats react to California secession. If Yes California is successful and approved by California voters, I may have to pop a bag of popcorn to watch how liberal Democrats justify secession, even though I hate popcorn.
Another problem with Californians’ opposition to the border wall, is it runs afoul of a 2006 law entitled the Secure Fence Act that authorized about 700 miles of fencing along the southern border. The law was passed with support from Democrats like then-Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York as well as Democrat California Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein. The act was signed into law by former President George W. Bush. Section 2 of this act reads as follows:
SEC. 2. ACHIEVING OPERATIONAL CONTROL ON THE BORDER.
(a) In General- Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall take all actions the Secretary determines necessary and appropriate to achieve and maintain operational control over the entire international land and maritime borders of the United States, to include the following-
(1) systematic surveillance of the international land and maritime borders of the United States through more effective use of personnel and technology, such as unmanned aerial vehicles, ground-based sensors, satellites, radar coverage, and cameras; and
(2) physical infrastructure enhancements to prevent unlawful entry by aliens into the United States and facilitate access to the international land and maritime borders by United States Customs and Border Protection, such as additional checkpoints, all weather access roads, and vehicle barriers.
(b) Operational Control Defined- In this section, the term `operational control’ means the prevention of all unlawful entries into the United States, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotics, and other contraband.
(c) Report- Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act and annually thereafter, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report on the progress made toward achieving and maintaining operational control over the entire international land and maritime borders of the United States in accordance with this section.
The last time I checked, the Department of Homeland Security falls under the Executive Branch headed by President Donald J. Trump. To my knowledge, this law has not been challenged in the courts. Will California officials, 11 years later, ask a 9th Circuit judge to overturn a duly passed law with California support or allow the President to execute Congress’ desire?
It would seem from a legal standpoint, in a representative democracy, any California legal challenge should be dismissed and declared moot. The law of standing normally involves whether the plaintiff had suffered or is threatened with injury in fact at the time of the filing of the complaint, the law of mootness inquires whether events subsequent to the filing of the suit have eliminated the controversy between the parties. If a court now or in the near future rules that California does, in fact, suffer an injury and subject to relief from the Secure Fence Act it will only point out the ignorance of Sens. Boxer and Feingold for voting in favor of the bill. Subsequently, it will point out the stupidity of the people of California for electing the two senators who voted for a bill detrimental to their own state and constituents.
I guess another reason the California Dreamin’ song in my mind is the previous decisions by the 9th Circuit Court’s rulings on President Trump’s Executive Orders on Immigration. The same decisions that have been overturned by the United States Supreme Court how many times now? Their most recent decision staying the revised Executive Order will probably meet the same fate.
One legal principle I remember studying in a constitutional law class is that of stare decisis. I believe the judges on the 9th Circuit were either asleep or absent for that lecture. While I have not read the judges’ rulings on the Executive Orders, but legal precedent according to stare decisis and the U.S. Supreme Court should preclude the maniacs on the 9th Circuit from objecting to Trump’s Executive Orders on immigration. At this point, I cannot dream up any new legal arguments that would justify the 9th Circuit’s position that would sway the U.S. Supreme Court to agree with them this time around. There are very few precedents where the U.S. Supreme Court agrees with the 9th Circuit Court anyway. Besides, President Barack Hussein Obama’s Executive Orders on immigration are mirrored practically word for word by President Trump’s Executive Orders. Obama’s Executive Orders were never challenged by California or liberal Democrats.
Regardless of their personal animosity toward President Trump, the judges should be able to read a 1950 U.S. Supreme Court precedent that held “The exclusion of aliens is a fundamental act of sovereignty … inherent in the executive power.” Congress also passed the Immigration and Nationality Act in 1952 saying the president “may by proclamation and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens and any class of aliens as immigrants or non-immigrants” whenever he thinks it “would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.” Thus the most recent 9th Circuit stay is more California Dreamin’.
California Dreamin’…on such a winter’s day!
P.S. I apologize for everyone that continually sings California Dreamin’ in their heads for the next couple days.