Is Trump the Most Fun President Ever?

If you’ve been fed up with the left’s hijacking of America, he certainly is fun -- because bit by bit he’s dismantling their power, supply train, and prestige. The shaky premises upon which they’ve controlled life in America for some time is being exposed and overturned. Let me explain.

Here comes the Judge

This week the Supreme Court by 5-4 majorities upset three linchpins of leftwing rule in America:

On Tuesday the Supreme Court released its opinions in Trump v. Hawaii and National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra.

On Wednesday morning the Supreme Court released its final opinions from October Term 2017, in Janus v. AFSCME and Florida v. Georgia.

On Wednesday afternoon Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the Supreme Court.

In the first case, the Court ruled it was within the power of the President to suspend entry of aliens to the United States. Something obvious from the clear text of the relevant law.  The self-styled “wise Latina.” Justice Sotomayor made a ridiculous comparison to the internment of the Japanese-Americans by FDR, which was batted away as the inapt comparison it is. As significant as the Court’s adherence to the text of the relevant law is, Justice Thomas’s observation that District Court issuance of nationwide injunctions (a practice begun in 1963) is based on dubious legal authority. Moreover, Thomas said, “Nationwide injunctions mean that each of the more than 600 federal district judges in the United States can freeze a law or regulation throughout the country -- regardless of whether the other 599 disagree." As Ben Weingarten details in the Federalist, he’s opening the door to more SCOTUS scrutiny of such injunctions, and a disarming of a regularly used tool of the Resistance.

Injunctions that prohibit the Executive Branch from applying a law or policy against anyone… have become increasingly common. District courts, including the one here, have begun imposing universal injunctions without considering their authority to grant such sweeping relief. These injunctions are beginning to take a toll on the federal court system -- preventing legal questions from percolating through the federal courts, encouraging forum shopping, and making every case a national emergency for the courts and for the Executive Branch.

I am skeptical that district courts have the authority to enter universal injunctions. These injunctions did not emerge until a century and a half after the founding. And they appear to be inconsistent with longstanding limits on equitable relief and the power of Article III courts. If their popularity continues, this Court must address their legality.

In the National Institute case, the Court held that a California law compelling pro-life advocates to advise clients of abortion options likely violated the First Amendment. The increasing tendency of pro-abortion legislatures and courts to deny the free speech rights of those who hold dissenting views on abortion, along with same-sex marriage, checked once again. Whatever your position is on these issues, the First Amendment bars you from silencing those who hold contrary views.

In the Janus case, the court ruled that Illinois’s extraction of “agency fees” from non-union public employees violated the First Amendment. In doing so it is cutting off a major money train to the Democrats and offering up a means to prevent the bankruptcy of states and municipalities, where in recent years the public interest has not been served by union-funded officials “negotiating” with those whose largesse they depend on. Public service employees who now choose not to join a union need not continue to kick in funds to one. Facing what promises to be a substantial reduction in funds, Democrat candidates will find their purses lightened.

If these decisions didn’t set off gnashing and wailing on the left, the Kennedy announcement surely has, and for good reason: the decades-long control of the Supreme Court by the left since at the late 1930s is coming to a screeching halt, and there’s nothing much they can do to stop it.

The President intends to name his choice -- from a list he distributed before his election -- on July 9, and despite the perfervid announcements on the left, he is likely to have his second Supreme Court judge seated by the new term. 

For a number of decades, the left has derided originalism -- the notion that judges should follow the clear words of the Constitution and the intent of the drafters. Instead they argued that the judiciary --which they largely controlled -- should treat the document as a “living instrument.” In truth, that meant that the subjective feelings of the judges with their “penumbras” and “emanations“ should prevail over the text. Constitutional law professor Randy Barnett pithily describes their present dilemma:

Flailing about, the left has raised several risible objections to the confirmation of a Trump nominee Among their weak arguments are these -- that none should be confirmed before the mid-term elections (which they think they might win) and that the President should not have his nominee confirmed while he is under investigation. They must have the memory of a gnat: In 2010 Barack Obama nominated Justice Elena Kagan just months before a midterm election, and in 1994, while he was under investigation, Bill Clinton nominated Stephen Breyer to the Court. 

In any event, this development could not come at a worse time for the left. Jonathan Tobin nails it:

The more they emphasize the consequences of replacing Kennedy with a more consistent conservative, the greater the depression their voters will feel when the next Gorsuch takes the oath of office in time to join the Supreme Court for the opening of the fall term in October.

The irony here for Democrats is that the “resistance” is fueled by their conviction that Trump has violated key norms and threatens the institutions of democracy. Yet if there is one aspect of his presidency that has been completely normal, it is his approach to judicial appointments. He has stuck to the list of qualified conservatives that he made public before his election. No one can pretend that his appointments are any different, in terms of their beliefs or credentials, from those that might have been put forward by any other Republican president. Rather than heralding an era of radical Trumpian madness, Gorsuch and the other Trump judges are just normal constitutional conservatives and a reminder that, his Twitter account notwithstanding, the Trump presidency is for the most part an exercise in conservative rather than extremist governance.

That’s why it’s going to be hard for Democrats to persuade any GOP senators to join them or to keep their own caucus in line, setting them up for failure and the recriminations that will follow.

Democrats aren’t happy about a post-Kennedy Court that will protect religious freedom and freedom of speech in ways they abhor and perhaps even chip away at Roe. As President Obama liked to say, “elections have consequences.”

Yet the Democrats’ more immediate concern should be the way their inevitable defeat in the coming confirmation fight will depress their base and strengthen the forces pushing their party farther to the left in the run-up to 2020. It remains to be seen whether this is a prescription for a revived opposition party or a gift to an otherwise embattled Trump administration. Nevertheless, Democratic activists are going to be judging every member of their party’s caucus on their conduct in the next few months. As their less-than-scintillating performance on the first day of the struggle illustrated, their conclusions are likely to be harsh. 

According to Rasmussen polls, “43% of Likely U.S. Voters” rate the Supreme Court performance as “good to excellent”

Behind the Scrim on “Russian Collusion”

The Mueller clown show continues with the Flynn case being postponed yet again, doubtless under a ton of rapidly accumulating exculpatory material Mueller’s team must fork over to the defendant and the Court. In New York his case against a nonexistent firm and unreachable defendants is moored on the shoals with defense counsel demanding extensive discovery. Even the Manafort cases, which continue, have drawn skeptical comments from D.C. Judge Thomas Ellis.

Do you doubt that Rod Rosenstein is competently performing his work and that he and the President now have full evidence in hand of the skullduggery the Obama shills in the intelligence committee and DOJ and FBI were up to? Maybe you shouldn’t.  This fine article by Jeff Carlson, which meticulously analyzes Rosenstein’s testimony under oath, details why, concluding,

“I’m beginning to question exactly what it is that Mueller is investigating. There appears to be much more going on than many -- including those in Congress -- are aware of.

Nunes, Grassley and Goodlatte are probably fully informed. Many others… less so.

It was notable that Goodlatte praised Rosenstein for his efforts at the conclusion of the hearing. Like so many of these hearings, the important details lay within the small subtleties -- inferences to be pondered. 

Children and Border Jumpers

Just as the left is drumming up support for open borders and largely pro-abortion harpies are marching about using children of illegal aliens separated from their parents as this week’s stated outrage, the Department of Justice seems to have cut them off at the knees.  Citing a victory in another court brought ironically by open border advocates, they argue the Flores decision, which required either the children be separated or their parents free to be released into the U.S., is without further effect. (One left hand doesn’t know what the other left hand is doing?)

Just days after President Donald Trump announced that his administration would ask a federal court to permit detention of immigrant families by modifying a longstanding court settlement, Justice Department lawyers told the Los Angeles-based judge handling the case Friday that no change to the decree may be needed.

Trump administration lawyers argued that a separate injunction a federal judge in San Diego issued Tuesday barring family separations effectively wipes out provisions in the decades-old Flores agreement that have been determined to bar detention of most children in immigration custody for more than 20 days.

And He Still Has Time to Deal with the EU

The president is assessing the cost and necessity of retaining our troops in Germany -- a significant moneymaker for Germany and another means by which we are bearing a huge share of the European defense costs.  

Apparently, this has created angst for Angela Merkel and her freeloading, blinkered EU partners whose dream was to bring moneybags Uncle Sam to heel.

I don’t know about you, but I cannot keep up with this President and yet I’m still not tired of winning.


Image Credit: Donkey Hotey, via Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0