David French

French: The Incredible Tale of a Reckless, Partisan FBI Agent and Our Partisan Bureaucracy

If the story hadn’t been verified by virtually every mainstream-media outlet in the country, you’d think it came straight from conspiratorial fever dreams of the alt-right. Yesterday, news broke that Robert Mueller had months ago asked a senior FBI agent to step down from his role investigating the Trump administration. This prince of a man was caught in an extramarital affair with an FBI lawyer. The affair itself was problematic, but so was the fact that the two were found to have exchanged anti-Trump, pro-Hillary Clinton text messages. Here’s where the story gets downright bizarre. This agent, Peter Strzok, also worked with FBI director James Comey on the Clinton email investigation. In fact, he was so deeply involved in the Clinton investigation that he is said to have interviewed Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, and to have been present when the FBI interviewed Clinton. According to CNN, he was part of the team responsible for altering the FBI’s conclusion that Clinton was “grossly negligent” in handling classified emails (a finding that could have triggered criminal liability) to “extremely careless” — a determination that allowed her to escape prosecution entirely. After the Clinton investigation concluded, Strzok signed the documents opening the investigation into Russian election interference and actually helped interview former national-security adviser Michael Flynn. In other words, it looks like a low-integrity, reckless, biased bureaucrat has played an important role in two of the most important and politically charged criminal investigations of the new century. Yes, it’s good that Mueller removed Strzok when he discovered the text messages. No, Strzok is not solely responsible for the conclusions reached in either investigation. But his mere presence hurts public confidence in the FBI, and it does so in a way that further illustrates a persistent and enduring national problem: America’s permanent bureaucracy is unacceptably partisan. Remember President Obama’s second term, when the IRS Tea Party–targeting scandal erupted? The bureaucrat at the fulcrum of the scandal, Lois Lerner, was unabashedly partisan, launching a comprehensive and unconstitutional inquiry into conservative groups even as she was “joking” that “she wanted to work for the pro-Obama group Organizing for America.” It’s hard to overstate the effect of the IRS scandal on conservative confidence in the federal government. Yes, there were some progressive groups that faced scrutiny, but the sheer scale of the attack on conservative groups was unprecedented. The IRS sought confidential donor information, passwords, and information about the political activities even of family members of those involved with some scrutinized groups. I remember. I represented dozens of these organizations. When it came time to launch a criminal investigation of the IRS, the Obama Department of Justice put an Obama donor in charge of the probe. The decision to offer her the job was inexcusable, as was her decision to accept. At a time when half the country was losing confidence in the integrity of its public servants, the Obama administration raised its hand and extended a big middle finger. While there are certainly some biased, partisan conservatives in the federal bureaucracy, the ideological imbalance in the civil service is striking. It’s not quite at university-faculty levels, but it’s getting close. For example, in the 2016 election cycle, Hillary Clinton received an astounding 95 percent of all federal-employee donations. The danger here isn’t just the kind of naked display of partisan bias that we saw in the Obama IRS. It’s also the emergence of groupthink. As we know from other liberal-dominated enclaves, such as academia and the mainstream media, ideological uniformity can lead to a startling degree of ignorance and incompetence. It’s hard to govern (or educate, or report on) an entire country when you aren’t sufficiently exposed to contrary perspectives and experiences.

Agreed…and well said, David.  Attorney, and Army Reserve officer (Major), David French is responsible for that piece.  David was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq.

French: Stop Misrepresenting Masterpiece Cakeshop

Forgive me for starting a piece with the oldest cliché in the practice of law. As the saying goes, “If the law is on your side, pound on the law. If the facts are on your side, pound on the facts. If neither are on your side, pound on the table.” In the run-up to the oral arguments in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission on December 5, we’re seeing a lot of table-pounding from the Left. In fact, I’ve never seen a case more mischaracterized in my entire legal career. The actual facts of the case are crystal clear. Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, refused to custom-design a cake to help celebrate a gay wedding. As a Christian, he finds same-sex unions to be unbiblical and immoral, and he wasn’t willing to use his artistic talents to advance a message he holds to be wrong. In fact, he’d frequently declined to design cakes that advanced messages he found to be offensive. But he never, ever — not once — discriminated against any customers on the basis of their identity. He baked cakes for people of all races, creeds, colors, and sexual orientatons. So why do so many on the left compare him to segregationists? Why do they use hypotheticals that have nothing to do with the facts of this case? Today the New York Times published a perfect example of pound-on-the-table misrepresentations. It’s by Barnard College professor and Times contributor Jennifer Finney Boylan. How does she distort the case? Let us count the ways. She begins of course by comparing Phillips to the owner of a restaurant who claimed a religious justification for denying service to African Americans. Then she compares him to a doctor who wouldn’t care for a lesbian couple’s baby. She talks about landlords, clinics, and other businesses — all of which could deny services to people “because of who they are.” She quotes a law professor (because of course law professors aren’t above misrepresenting cases) as saying, “We’ve never allowed a commercial business to justify discrimination against a protected class based on the First Amendment. We shouldn’t start now.” Here’s the thing — if the court rules for Phillips, it wouldn’t be starting now. Phillips isn’t discriminating against a protected class. I’ll repeat this until I’m blue in the face. He serves gay customers. If a black baker refuses a white customer’s request to design a Confederate-flag cake, he’s not discriminating on the basis of race. He’s refusing to advance a message. If a police officer’s wife refuses a black customer’s request to design a cake celebrating Assata Shakur, a convicted cop-killer and one of the FBI’s most-wanted terrorists, she’s not discriminating on the basis of race. She’s refusing to advance a message.

Exactly!  Well said, David.  David French is an attorney and Army Reserve officer (Major) who was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq.  To read the rest of his legal op/ed here, click on the text above.

French: Elizabeth Warren, Progressive Fraud

My favorite Elizabeth Warren story involves a cookbook. Warren, who was at that time posing as a trailblazing Cherokee, actually contributed recipes to a recipe book with the name, I kid you not, “Pow Wow Chow.” But here’s the best part of the story. She plagiarized some of the recipes. Yes indeed, her version of “pow wow chow” came directly from a famous French chef. My second-favorite Warren story involves breastfeeding. She once claimed to be the first “nursing mother” to take the New Jersey bar exam, making her, I suppose, the Jackie Robinson of lactating lawyers. The problem? There’s no evidence this is true. Women have been taking the New Jersey bar since 1895, and the New Jersey Judiciary was “not aware” whether they tracked the nursing habits of test-takers. Warren is a bit of an academic grifter. She’s willing to fake her way to the top. When she came to Harvard Law School, she was — believe it or not — considered by some to be a “minority hire.” She listed herself as a minority on a legal directory reviewed by deans and hiring committees. The University of Pennsylvania “listed her as a minority faculty member,” and she was touted after her hire at Harvard Law School as, yes, the school’s “first woman of color.” This was no small thing. At the time, elite universities were under immense pressure to diversify their faculties (as they still are). “More women” was one command. “More women of color” was the ideal. At Harvard the pressure was so intense that students occupied the administration building, and the open spaces of the school were often filled with screaming, chanting students. One of the law school’s leading black academics, a professor named Derek Bell, left the school to protest the lack of diversity on campus. I remember it vividly. I was there. I arrived on campus in the fall of 1991, just after Bell left, and liberal activists were seething with outrage. They were demanding new hires, and the place almost boiled over when the school granted tenure to four white men. My classmate, Hans Bader, notes that the school wasn’t just under political pressure to make a “diversity” hire, it was under legal pressure as well. The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination had issued a “probable cause finding” that the school had discriminated against a professor named Clare Dalton when it denied her tenure. In Bader’s words, “Harvard’s faculty badly wanted to racially and sexually diversify their ranks to show their commitment to diversity, so that MCAD would not view future denials of tenure to unqualified minorities and women as being motivated by a discriminatory animus.” No one can know whether Warren would have landed at Harvard without faking her ethnicity (Harvard of course denies her alleged minority status was a factor), but we do know that she spent years holding herself out as a Native American. We do know those claims were extremely dubious. We also know that she made those claims exactly at the time when they could most help a young career. These facts would be bad enough, but the great Warren con doesn’t end there. Let’s take, for example, her signature work of academic scholarship. She made a name for herself in the pre-Obamacare years with a pair of studies claiming that medical bills were responsible for an extraordinary share of American bankruptcies. This research presented the Left with an ideal talking point. The American medical system wasn’t just broken, it was oppressing the little guy. No doubt medical bills do drive some bankruptcies, but you wouldn’t know how many from Warren’s scholarship. As Megan McArdle points out in a detailed take-down in The Atlantic, Warren and her co-authors not only classified a “medical bankruptcy” as any bankruptcy that included at least $1,000 in medical debt (in her 2001 paper) or $5,000 (in her 2007 paper), their methodology was “quite explicitly designed to capture every case where medical bills, or medical loss of income, coexist with some other causal factor — but the medical issues are then always designated as causal in their discussion.” Warren’s work even obscured the fact that medical bankruptcies fell dramatically between 2001 and 2007. McArdle noted, “This is, to put it mildly, sort of a problem for the thesis that exploding medical bills are shoving people into bankruptcy.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is total fraud, and it boggles the mind that she continues to get re-elected.  We all know just how blue MA is.  But, c’mon..  Seriously??  Thanks to attorney, and Army Reserve officer (Major), David French, for this outstanding op/ed.  David was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq.

French: In Texas, a Good Guy with a Gun Stopped a Bad Guy with a Gun, But No One Truly Has Answers

With the automatic caveat that early reports are often wrong, it appears that the man who attacked the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, was a dishonorably discharged veteran of the United States Air Force. If this report is accurate, he wasn’t permitted to legally own a firearm. As the ATF explains, the Gun Control Act prohibits any person who’s been “discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions” from shipping, transporting, receiving, or possessing a firearm or ammunition. The shooter apparently cared as much about the Gun Control Act as he cared for laws prohibiting murder. While the Texas shooter was obviously able to fire on the church members long enough to commit one of the worst mass murders in American history, he appears to have been stopped by a good guy with a gun — a civilian who armed himself and engaged the shooter: According to the law-enforcement briefing, a resident engaged the shooter with his own gun, the shooter then dropped his rifle and tried to escape by car. He died in the car, but it was not clear (as of the time of this post) whether he died after being shot by the resident or whether he killed himself. Already Twitter is erupting in furious arguments over gun control, concealed carry, and various pie-in-the-sky “solutions” to the problem of mass murder. The calls to “do something” will ring out once again, and if the past is any guide, the various gun-control proposals that will be put forward with maximum rage and sanctimony wouldn’t have stopped this — or any other — recent mass killing. At the same time, however, while I’m extraordinarily grateful for the courage of the good guys with guns who’ve ultimately put a stop to multiple mass shootings — including this dreadful massacre — it’s not at all clear to me that good guys with guns present the answer to our troubles. They help, certainly, but they are not the cure for this national disease. If recent history teaches us anything, it’s that there is no reliable way to stop a man determined to commit mass murder. He can use guns, cars, trucks, fertilizer, or boxcutters to exact a terrible toll in human life. Though there is no single answer, there is still effort. Individually, that means learning to how to use a weapon, carrying it, and remaining prepared to defend yourself and the people around you. Individually, that means if you see something, you say something. If a person is acting erratically or radicalizing in dangerous ways, then contact local law enforcement. Collectively, it’s difficult to identify effective prophylactic public policies. We have better answers for jihadists and other terrorists than we do for vengeful and evil men who lash out based on purely individual slights, real or imagined. In the meantime, we once again mourn the dead, express thanks for the brave, and do our best to rationally seek answers in a nation beset by grief, anger, and division. (Update: The Daily Beast is reporting that the shooter received a bad-conduct discharge — not a dishonorable discharge — after a domestic-violence conviction. The domestic-violence conviction would have also barred the shooter from possessing a firearm.)

Exactly..  Another “gun law” would not have prevented this horrible event in Texas.  The suspect was already committing a felony simply possessing the weapon he had.  And, unfortunately, you cannot stop every evil act.  That is simply an uncomfortable fact/reality….whether it’s using a rented truck to run over people on a sidewalk in New York, or illegally getting a hold of a firearm and using it to commit murder.  Thanks to attorney, and Army Reserve officer (Major), David French for sharing his perspective.  David was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq.

French: The Dam Breaks: Democrats Are Decisively Turning on Hillary

One of the most mystifying aspects of the 2016 election has been the short-term elevation of Hillary Clinton. She somehow went from being the “most qualified presidential candidate in history” to a spiritual figure, a person with a mystical presence. She walks the woods. She grants or denies absolution. When she speaks, grown women weep. Or at least they did yesterday. Today, things changed. Remember Donna Brazile? She’s the former CNN contributor and interim chairman of the Democratic National Committee. She last dominated the headlines in October of 2016, when a leaked email revealed she’d fed CNN debate questions to Hillary’s campaign in March of that year. (She took the job as interim DNC chairwoman, which she’d briefly held in 2011 as well, in July.) CNN forced her to resign as a contributor, but before the election Brazile was anything but apologetic. Here’s her comment on November 7, 2016 — the day before Hillary’s loss: “My conscience — as an activist, a strategist — is very clear,” the interim chair of the Democratic National Committee said Monday during a satellite radio interview with liberal activist and SiriusXM host Joe Madison. She added that “if I had to do it all over again, I would know a hell of a lot more about cybersecurity.” In other words, she was mainly upset that she got caught. But that was then, when the Democrats believed they were on the verge of a victory that would prove all their political theories correct. They were the “coalition of the ascendant.” Demography was destiny. The arc of history was bending their way. Or maybe not. So now, finally, Brazile is taking stock. In March she finally apologized for passing debate questions to the Clinton campaign. Today, she went further. Much further. Writing in Politico, she confesses what Bernie Bros suspected all along: The system was rigged. From the opening salvos of the Democratic presidential primary, the DNC was quite literally in Hillary’s pocket. Brazile writes that the DNC, the Hillary Victory Fund, and Hillary for America had entered into a “Joint Fund-Raising Agreement.” Here were its key terms: “The agreement — signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook with a copy to Marc Elias — specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings.” That sound you hear is the primal scream of millions of Bernie Bros. They were right. The system was rigged. As Brazile notes, it’s not at all uncommon for presidential candidates to assert increasing control over the party after the nominee is chosen, but this agreement was executed in August 2015 — months before the first primary votes were cast. Brazile calls this arrangement “unethical.” She says it “compromised the party’s integrity.” (That’s virtually the Clintons’ family motto — “compromising Democratic integrity since 1992.”) She’s right, and while Brazile may be the most notable Democratic voice to decisively break with the Clintons, she’s not the only one. Writing yesterday in The New Yorker, Susan Glasser argues that while Republican divisions have been grabbing headlines, the Democrats’ own civil war “is getting nasty.” She focuses on Democratic strategist Stanley Greenberg, a veteran of Bill Clinton’s presidential campaigns, and his stinging critique: “For months, Greenberg has been stewing over how Clinton conducted her campaign, and he finally unloaded, in The American Prospect, a small-circulation progressive journal founded back on the eve of Bill Clinton’s Presidency. . . . Here was Bill Clinton’s pollster accusing Hillary Clinton’s campaign of strategic errors, mismanagement, and failure to heed the advice of him and others to appeal to the Party’s traditional working-class voters in the Midwest.” His conclusion? “Malpractice and arrogance contributed mightily to the election of Donald Trump.”

Oh, that’s just the beginning.  Hillary lost to Donald Trump for a host of reasons, and no..  Russia wasn’t one of them.  Sorry MSNBC.   Hillary was so sure of herself, that she didn’t even bother to step foot in states like Michigan and Pennsylvania, which broke for Trump in the final hours of election day.  And, her whole campaign was about her.  What the heck does “stronger together” mean anyway?  Her campaign was incoherent, and all about “her.”  By extreme contrast, Trump’s campaign was about all of us; NOT him.  His slogan was actually first used by Ronald Reagan, and later (ironically) by Bill Clinton; Make America Great (again).  And, if you read Trump’s campaign platform, it was coherent and well-considered.  His campaign did their homework, and took nothing for granted.  Plus, the fact that he didn’t use taxpayer monies during the GOP primaries, and that he has pledged to only get paid $1/year while in office, certainly helped him seal the “art of the deal.”  And now, some Dems (not all of them.  Many are still in denial) are STARTING to do a little self-reflection, now that the dust has settled for a year now…and they’re starting to realize that no, the election will not be overturned.  And, part of that self-reflection is realizing they made a colossal mistake  in nominating such a corrupt, failed, and shallow candidate; a candidate who when asked during the primaries what her greatest achievement in public office was, couldn’t answer the question.  And, now that the Russia so-called “collusion” story has backfired “big league,” they’re eating their own, and turning on Hillary.  This is just the beginning folks.  So, pop some popcorn and watch.  The fall of Hillary has finally begun!  To read the rest of this inside baseball op/ed by attorney, and Army Reserve officer (Major), David French, click on the text above.  David was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq.

French: The Russia Dossier Story: A Perfect Storm of Clinton Deception, Media Irresponsibility, and Democratic Moral Blindness

Remember that infamous Russian “dossier,” the unverified document that BuzzFeed unceremoniously dumped into the public square earlier this year? You might recall it as making a series of incredibly salacious and completely unproven accusations against the sitting president of the United States. Well, it turns out that it was a piece of partisan opposition research, bought and paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, both of which then denied having anything to do with it after the fact. Last night the Washington Post reported that the Clinton campaign and the DNC used a lawyer named Marc Elias to retain the oppo-research firm Fusion GPS to conduct research on the Trump campaign (the firm had previously worked on behalf of a still-unidentified Republican to investigate Trump). Fusion GPS then hired a former intelligence officer named Christopher Steele, who conducted an investigation and authored the dossier. According to the Post, the Clinton campaign and the DNC used the law firm to pay Fusion GPS right until the end of October 2016. As my colleague Andrew McCarthy notes, it’s a clever arrangement. The use of the law firm adds a layer of deniability, and when controversy arises, Fusion GPS is able to appeal to attorney-client privilege to shield itself from scrutiny. It would be easy, at this point, to start to wander down the rabbit hole, to wonder how much of the so-called “Russia controversy” is based on the Clinton campaign’s opposition research, but let’s not speculate. The truth will emerge. Instead, let’s do something else: Let’s consider how the Russian-dossier story has thus far represented a perfect storm of classic Clintonism, media irresponsibility, and Democratic moral blindness. First, the Clintonism. The New York Times’s Maggie Haberman responded to the Post story with a perfect tweet: “Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year” “Sanctimonious lying” is Clintonworld’s M.O. From Bill to Hillary to key members of her team, they lie constantly, repetitively, and with style, and the lies often conceal no-holds-barred, bare-knuckle politics designed to win races and destroy political opponents. The lies here are important. It’s one thing to review a dossier compiled by a “former intelligence agent” and consider its contents as the product of an objective process. It’s another thing entirely to review that same work as the direct product of an opposing campaign’s opposition research. The goal of an opposition researcher is to collect everything and share everything with the client. A proper intelligence analysis, however, involves separating truth from fiction and provable claims from unverifiable allegations. Those who pitched the Russian dossier treated it not as opposition research but rather as a form of intelligence report. It had distinctive formatting. It used terms of art. It looked like a government document. How many people did it fool? Then there’s the media irresponsibility. There are reasons why news outlets don’t simply publish partisan opposition-research files: they’re full of rumor, innuendo, and sometimes outright lies. Campaigns routinely keep gigabytes of information about political opponents, and those files can contain the most fantastical of allegations. Yes, there are often true allegations alongside the scurrilous ones, but responsible journalists research those allegations before publishing them. Responsible journalists know to treat dirt from opposing campaigns with special skepticism. They don’t simply take a campaign’s work, upload it to their servers, and press “publish.” Yet that’s exactly what BuzzFeed did when it published the dossier in January. We knew then that it was the product of Trump opponents. (After all, which Trump friend would commission such a report?) We did not know it was the product of the Clinton campaign. A news outlet took a rumor-filled document of then-unknown origin, failed to verify its claims, and published it anyway. At the time, BuzzFeed called its work “ferocious reporting,” but anyone can publish an opposition-research file. It was shameful for BuzzFeed to publish the dossier then. It’s even more shameful now. Finally, let’s talk for a moment about Democratic moral blindness. One of the more incredible aspects of the emerging post-election narrative is the hero-worship that greets Hillary in some progressive circles. Sure, there are Bernie Bros and others who are bitterly angry at her, but others greet her with hugs, cheers, and tears. This is absurd. It’s as if some Democrats see the 2016 election as a Lord of the Rings–style struggle of good versus evil, Frodo battling Gollum at the Cracks of Doom, only to see Gollum win. Nope, sorry.

Agreed…and well said, David.  Attorney, and Army Reserve officer (Major), David French is responsible for that spot-on analysis.  David was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq.

French: Once Again, Judges Defy the Law to Defy Trump

In the last week, two federal district-court judges in two different federal circuits have issued new injunctions against the Trump administration’s latest “travel ban.” Both injunctions are wrong, but one is dangerously wrong, representing not just an extraordinary act of judicial supremacy but also a cavalier disregard for the Supreme Court of the United States. Before I go any farther, let me add this caveat. One of the judges (Theodore Chuang, from Maryland) is a close friend of mine. I’ve known him since my earliest days of law school, and he’s a man of keen intellect and high integrity. He’s one of Barack Obama’s best appointments to the federal bench. Even the smart and wise can be wrong, however, and he’s wrong in this case. But first, some background. We are now on our third travel-ban executive order. The Trump administration withdrew the first one (we’ll call it EO-1) after poor drafting and incompetent and possibly even malicious implementation created chaos in airports nationwide and contributed to a wave of court injunctions blocking its enforcement. While court cases were still pending against EO-1, the Trump administration went back to the drawing board and crafted a second executive order, EO-2. Both EO-1 and EO-2 temporarily blocked immigration from multiple jihadist or jihadist-dominated nations, and both orders required the Department of Homeland Security to conduct a review to determine whether the United States needed additional information from any given country to determine whether a potential immigrant or visitor represented a security threat to the United States. Plaintiffs of course challenged EO-2, and it was also enjoined — first in district courts and then in federal courts of appeal. These decisions were extraordinary on a number of fronts — so unusual that they constituted a unique kind of jurisprudence. I called it “Trumplaw.” In essence, judges were abandoning common standing rules, rereading binding precedent, and sometimes even ignoring controlling authority to rule against Donald Trump. They were acting less as judges and more as particularly potent members of the #Resistance. On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court restored a degree of judicial order. It didn’t rule on the merits of the case, but its per curiam (unanimous) decision was instructive nonetheless. First, it lifted the injunction on the vast bulk of the travel ban, keeping in place protections only for those immigrants or visitors with “bona fide relationships with a person or entity in the United States.” Second, it rejected judicial claims that individuals or entities in the United States could somehow represent the interests of the tens of millions of potential immigrants who don’t have any current tie to the United States. Here’s the Supreme Court: “The interest in preserving national security is “an urgent objective of the highest order.” Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, 561 U. S. 1, 28 (2010). To prevent the Government from pursuing that objective by enforcing [the travel ban] against foreign nationals unconnected to the United States would appreciably injure its interests, without alleviating obvious hardship to anyone else.” The justices thus freed the Trump administration to impose the lion’s share of its temporary travel ban while the administration conducted its review of foreign information-sharing capabilities and processes, and on September 24 it issued a new order (EO-3) responding to the results of that review. According to the order, the secretary of homeland security had identified seven countries that were “inadequate” not just in providing information but also in other security provisions. The secretary recommended immigration restrictions that “would help address the threats that the countries’ identity-management protocols, information-sharing inadequacies, and other risk factors pose to the security and welfare of the United States.” While the recommended restrictions were indefinite, they were not necessarily supposed to be permanent. As the order notes, the restrictions “also encourage the countries to work with the United States to address those inadequacies and risks so that the restrictions and limitations imposed by this proclamation may be relaxed or removed as soon as possible.” The order placed significant restrictions immigration and entry from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, and Somalia. Critically, only the North Korean and Syrian restriction constituted a total ban on entry (and even the total ban could be waived on a case-by-case basis). The rest of the nations faced varying degrees of restrictions but no total ban. For each nation, the order outlined the deficiencies that increase the threat to the United States. For example, regarding Iran, the order notes that it “regularly fails to cooperate with the United States Government in identifying security risks, fails to satisfy at least one key risk criterion, is the source of significant terrorist threats, and fails to receive its nationals subject to final orders of removal from the United States.” Even so, the order permits entry under valid student visas (with enhanced screening). Plaintiffs promptly challenged EO-3, and the two rulings partially blocking its enforcement — one from Hawaii, and one from Maryland — are wrong in distinct ways. Let’s deal with the worst first: Judge Derrick Watson’s ruling in Honolulu. Simply put, it’s 40 pages of judicial defiance. To understand the extent of Judge Watson’s malfeasance, one has to linger over the actual words of the governing statute: “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.” How does one get from there — a statute empowering the president to “suspend the entry” of “any class of aliens” when he (not the court) finds their entry would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States” — to a ruling stopping him from exercising exactly that power? When the judge decides it’s entirely up to him to evaluate the president’s reasoning according to the judge’s perception of American interests. Time and again throughout the opinion, the judge suggests alternative policies, wonders at the exclusion or inclusion of different countries, and acts far more like a Homeland Security bureaucrat debating the wisdom of various policy proposals than a judge determining whether the plain language of a very simple statute applies. Yes, the president made findings. They’re on the face of the document. Moreover, those findings happen to be true. Iran is the “source of significant terrorist threats.” Yemen does have “significant identity-management challenges.” They are “amplified by the notable terrorist presence within its territory.” The fact that the judge would prefer a different kind of response does not negate the president’s clear statutory authority.

Precisely!!  And that, really, is the bottom line here.  The President has not only the statutory authority, but the constitutional authority as well!  It’s not even remotely moot. And, they have brazenly defied the Supreme Court.  This spot-on, legal analysis was written by attorney, and Army Reserve officer (Major), David French.  David was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq.  To read the rest of this excellent piece, click on the text above.