SCOTUS finds travel ban legal; judicial review to continue

The US Supreme Court narrowly upheld as Constitutional the 3rd and most limited version of President Trump’s temporary travel ban, but rejected the administration’s claim it will ever be beyond judicial review. 

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling upholding version 3 of the administration’s “travel ban” for citizens of 7 countries, including 5 majority Muslim countries rests entirely on one idea—that the Executive has “broad discretion” in areas of foreign affairs and national security. What the 5 Justices ruling with the majority appear to have ignored is that the Constitution affords no powers to the President or to the Executive that are not explicitly granted in Constitutionally compliant law.

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Family Separation & Highway Checkpoints Threaten Your Freedom

The Fourth Amendment reads:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Warrantless searches are unlawful, always, everywhere.

The Fifth Amendment reads, in part:

nor shall any person… be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.

Detention of any person without due process is an attack on every American’s personal sovereignty.

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Return the Children

Statement from the Geoversiv Foundation on the US administration’s ongoing process of forced family separation and child internment — Issued June 23, 2018

No society can be free, prosperous and secure, while power is used to terrorize, dehumanize, or detain vulnerable people on pretext or prejudice.

The Bill of Rights — one of the most necessary and transformational documents in world history — makes it unlawful for any agent of power in the United States to so mistreat the humanity of any person.

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Democracy is an Engine of Economic Value

No society can win by denying basic human rights.

We are subsumed in a vast web of evolving technological capability, some of which does not necessarily make us free. We are living through a paradox of organized human empowerment, in which the power to access information is greatly expanding across the world, and yet faith in democratic institutions, which depend on informed citizen participation, is faltering.

Over the last 2 years, we have heard many experts suggest authoritarian tendencies are on the rise, because they are somehow better suited to dealing with complex nonlinear threats. A recent report even said: “China has the authoritarian ability to experiment at scale, steal our tech secrets and mobilize capital that no democracy can match.”

The moment requires we say this bluntly:

Authoritarians fear consultation, because if you ask those who will be affected by your choices what they most want, they will say they want your choices to empower them and others like them, without generating harm or unfairness. If you don’t include people in the process, that is virtually impossible to achieve. Authoritarian systems are designed to fail; that is why they don’t want to face criticism from those affected.

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We Must Empower Each Other to Lead

This Presidents’ Day, we remember those who have served honorably to build and to defend government of the people, by the people, and for the people. We commemorate the service of:

  • General Washington who with his infantry camped through a dangerous winter at Valley Forge, to stage the most improbable victory against the most powerful empire in world history.
  • Abraham Lincoln, who recognized that a free country cannot allow any of its people to be deprived of freedom.
  • Franklin Roosevelt, who when his nation faced total deprivation remained steady, spoke frankly to the people, offered a New Deal, and who later marshaled the nation and its allies to overthrow fascist dictatorship.
  • Ronald Reagan’s demand to the Soviet Premier: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
  • Barack Obama, and the many ways large and small by which he worked for the dignity of the nation and its people.

And, we recognize the service of all those who serve us every day, at every level, regardless of who holds the nation’s highest office.

We must also remember that central to our nation’s civic life is the moral obligation to work constructively to oppose, outflank and overcome illegitimate forces that seek to undermine the integrity of our democracy.

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Reject Hate, Every Time

The gift. It is an area of inquiry in deconstructionist postmodern philosophy, that connects to all the human aspirations we might classify as altruistic. The true gift asks nothing in return, not even recognition. At the heart of the act of giving, there lies a paradox: one must have the intention to give in order to do it, and yet awareness of the intention is itself a kind of recognition. Despite the impossibility of the perfect act of giving, a fundamental ethical call requires that we value and aspire to achieve it.

We are always already called.

By the very fact of being able to conceive of a human subject—the first-person singular, the experience of being the “I am” that we are—we establish an ethical relationship to the vulnerability, intentionality, right to be rightful, and ethical value, of all others who have this experience. The Golden Rule—Do unto others as you would have others do unto you—is not a wish or an idea; it is the structurally integral ethical universe that emerges from the fact that any of us is conscious, alive, and in any way vulnerable.

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Stand with Charlottesville

The murder of Heather Heyer was carried out by a neo-Nazi terrorist who went to Charlottesville to join armed militia groups, who despise the core principles of American democracy. The 45th President of the United States then shocked the world by seeming to place blame on law-abiding anti-racist citizens like Ms. Heyer, while exonerating the extremist hate groups that brought about her death.

The founding creed of the United States is:

that all men are created equal, endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Nazis, the KKK, and the Confederacy all used violence and terror to oppose these values and promote enslavement and genocide. The Nazis and the Confederacy murdered hundreds of thousands of loyal Americans. The KKK has waged a terrorist war against the American people for 150 years.

Donald Trump is decisive, specific, and vicious in his criticism of anyone he dislikes or disagrees with. When neo-Nazis attacked Charlottesville and killed Heather Heyer, he said “many sides” were at fault and refused repeatedly to name the racist militants responsible. In his ongoing refusal to condemn white supremacists, and in his efforts to subvert the prosecution of neo-Nazi terrorists, he has shown himself to be aligned with those whose unifying creed is hatred for the Republic he is sworn to serve. 

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