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View Full Version : Whitaker apparently believes that Federal law is 'optional', for the States



Norman Bernstein
11-10-2018, 09:12 AM
I've heard some pretty radical interpretations of the Constitution before, but this one deserves special attention.... after all, the guy is AG (for now)


“Matthew Whitaker, the new acting attorney general, has said that states have the right to nullify federal law, but that they need the political courage to do so,” CNN (https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/09/politics/matthew-whitaker-nullification/index.html) reports.

Whitaker made the comments during a failed 2014 run for the Republican Senate nomination in Iowa.”

Said Whitaker: “As a principle, it has been turned down by the courts and our federal government has not recognized it. Now we need to remember that the states set up the federal government and not vice versa. And so the question is, do we have the political courage in the state of Iowa or some other state to nullify Obamacare and pay the consequences for that?”

Osborne Russell
11-10-2018, 09:16 AM
Now we need to remember that the states set up the federal government . . .

Wrong

Mr. Acting Attorney General

How did you get through high school

Let alone college

Let alone law school

Perhaps you're an ignorant fraud

Or perhaps you actually know better

and you're just an intellectually dishonest

liar

Mr. Acting Attorney General

Jim Mahan
11-10-2018, 09:27 AM
Anyone might nullify federal law if they happen to be willing to pay the consequences, as in his quote. His implication is that somehow the consequences would be something other than the civil war.

It also sounds sorta like the 'sovereign citizen' movement. The same conspiracy-minded polyps who claim the government doesn't have the right to tax personal income, and the local sheriff's authority supercedes the fed's.

Osborne Russell
11-10-2018, 09:35 AM
No. A criminal does not nullify the law just because he isn't caught.

bluedog225
11-10-2018, 09:55 AM
What a knucklehead!

Passed by Congress September 25, 1789. Ratified December 15, 1791. The first 10 amendments form the Bill of Rights

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Too Little Time
11-10-2018, 10:17 AM
Anyone might nullify federal law if they happen to be willing to pay the consequences, as in his quote. His implication is that somehow the consequences would be something other than the civil war.

It also sounds sorta like the 'sovereign citizen' movement. The same conspiracy-minded polyps who claim the government doesn't have the right to tax personal income, and the local sheriff's authority supercedes the fed's.
It sounds like those marijuana laws. The nerve of the states thinking they are special.

Sky Blue
11-10-2018, 10:25 AM
Sanctuary laws

ron ll
11-10-2018, 10:43 AM
.... after all, the guy is AG (for now)

I haven’t checked yet this morning. Is he still? :D

Ian McColgin
11-10-2018, 10:44 AM
[IMc - "Sanctuary laws" [#7]
What the right calls "sanctuary laws" are actually just rulings that provide proper separation of federal and state obligations, as in the story below. "Sanctuary" for real was embodied in " "An Act to Protect the Rights and Liberties of the People of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts". This response to the Federal Fugitive Slave Act led to no fugitive slaves being returned from Massachusetts to their Southern owners. Not doing the Feds' job is not the same as active resistance. Also, the administration knows that having local police act as immigration agents is a great way to foster immigrant community mistrust of police and local justice. The Feds' strategy is a deliberate attempt to increase crime, exploitation, and vicitmization in immigrant communities and a strategy to lessen the effectiveness of local police. The systematic destruction of local law enforcement is a strategy in extending federal intervention.]

Mass. High Court Rules Local Authorities Can't Detain People Solely On ICE Detainers

July 24, 2017Updated Jul 25, 2017 8:16 AM

Shannon Dooling

The detainer is a request from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to hold a person in custody whose criminal proceedings have been settled and who is otherwise free to go. This could mean the individual's charges have been dismissed, they've posted bail, or their jail sentence has been completed.

The detainer -- which is not the same as an arrest warrant, which requires proof of probable cause and a judge's signature -- gives ICE up to two days to look into a person's immigration status and potentially pursue deportation.

“Today’s decision is a victory for the rule of law and smart immigration and criminal justice policies, and a rejection of anti-immigrant policies that have stoked fear in communities across the country," Healey said in a statement. She added that the ruling "allows local law enforcement to focus their resources on keeping people safe."

C.M. Cronen, who's the ICE field office director in Boston, disagrees.

In a statement, he said the ruling "weakens local law enforcement agencies’ ability to protect their communities." Cronen added that ICE is reviewing the decision to determine next steps.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the nation's top law enforcement officer, has argued that detainers give federal immigration officials a chance to investigate a person's immigration status while keeping criminals off the streets.

And Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson, who takes a hard line on immigration enforcement, said the "decision makes Massachusetts residents and visitors more vulnerable to become victims of crime."

But Emma Winger, an attorney who represented Lunn before the SJC, said that concerns about public safety are not relevant.

"Detainers only apply to folks who have, for example, been found not guilty, or their case has been dismissed, or a judge has determined they should be released on bail," Winger said. "So, this case doesn't in any way threaten the public safety of Massachusetts residents."

The SJC's decision explained how Sreynoun Lunn, who was first ordered deported back in 2008, came to be at the center of this case:

Lunn was arraigned in the Boston Municipal Court on October 24, 2016, on a single count of unarmed robbery. The day before the arraignment, the United States Department of Homeland Security ... issued a civil immigration detainer against him. The detainer document ... requested, among other things, that the Massachusetts authorities continue to hold Lunn in State custody for up to two days after he would otherwise be released, in order to give officers of the department time to arrive and take him into Federal custody.

Lunn has been in federal immigration custody several times since 2008. He was most recently held as a result of the ICE detainer mentioned in the SJC's decision. He remained in custody for more than three months as immigration officials attempted to deport him.

However, because Lunn was born to Cambodian parents in a Thai refugee camp, neither nation recognizes him as a citizen. Both nations have refused to take him, preventing the U.S. from deporting him to either place.

Lunn, who's 32, was then released from federal custody in June after lawyers argued he was being held without due process.

Eva Millona, director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, said Monday's ruling "provides much needed clarity for Massachusetts law enforcement."

That was echoed by Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes.

"In the event that we get an ICE detainer -- which right now we've been getting at least one a week, if not two a week ... the detainer will be filed with the arrestee's folder, their file that goes over the court," Kyes said. "But in the event that the individual is in fact bailed and we do receive a detainer, the individual is going to be bailed."

Bristol Sheriff Hodgson says he's teaming up with several state representatives to draft new legislation in response. James Lyons, a Republican state representative from Andover, says he's hoping to get a new statute on the books.

"My role as a legislator is to put before the Legislature language that will allow police officers to arrest people who are found to be in violation of immigration laws and in fact have a civil immigration detainer outstanding against them," he said.

Lyons and his co-sponsors hope to file the new bill this week.

But for now, the SJC's decision is the law statewide.

Susan Church, a former head of the New England chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, says this Massachusetts ruling could provide a roadmap for other states.

"This is hopefully something that we will look back on and see that it sent a message out to all the other states that this is not the job of the states, to be enforcing federal immigration laws," she said.

http://www.wbur.org/news/2017/07/24/sjc-ruling-sreynoun-lunn-case

David G
11-10-2018, 10:57 AM
An 'attack dog with ambition' --

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/09/us/politics/matthew-whitaker-acting-attorney-general.html

C. Ross
11-10-2018, 11:05 AM
Sanctuary laws

Exactly. If he maintains this position he can’t possibly challenge those state laws.

Oops.

Norman Bernstein
11-10-2018, 11:07 AM
Exactly. If he maintains this position he can’t possibly challenge those state laws.


I'm shocked.. SHOCKED, I tell you... to learn that a right winger is hypocritical! :)

C. Ross
11-10-2018, 11:17 AM
Mr. Whitaker appears to be a standard issue Tea Party Federalist Society “Dominionist Originalist”.

Which is a bag full of snakes hissing contradictory notions. He’s been quoted as saying he’d look at Christian faith before consulting the Constitution, for example, which is a howling violation of the establishment clause. And the Originalists still haven’t figured out how to handle amendments 11-27. Some, apparently Mr. Whitaker included, have trouble acknowledging Marbury v. Madison and even the Constitution itself, preferring to depend on a random and undisciplined reading of the Federalist Papers.

Not a surprise. Dominionists are thick on the ground in non-denominational evangelical churches, where only a thin slice of the Bible is read, and which is interpreted to the whims of the local preacher, without a keel provided by wisdom of others.

It’s “write your own story” Christianity and law.

oznabrag
11-10-2018, 11:43 AM
‘Republicans ‘ are criminals.

Dominionism is treason.

What more does one need to know?

Sky Blue
11-10-2018, 11:59 AM
Exactly. If he maintains this position he can’t possibly challenge those state laws.

Oops.

No. He serves at the pleasure of the President. If executive policy is to challenge those laws, then he challenges them or finds other work. His personal opinions and statements are fodder for a confirmation process, should that occur. Apart from that, and under present circumstances, they don't matter.

Canoeyawl
11-10-2018, 11:59 AM
This is starting to resemble the fugitive slave laws...

Sky Blue
11-10-2018, 12:02 PM
Mr. Whitaker appears to be a standard issue Tea Party Federalist Society “Dominionist Originalist”.

Which is a bag full of snakes hissing contradictory notions. He’s been quoted as saying he’d look at Christian faith before consulting the Constitution, for example, which is a howling violation of the establishment clause. And the Originalists still haven’t figured out how to handle amendments 11-27. Some, apparently Mr. Whitaker included, have trouble acknowledging Marbury v. Madison and even the Constitution itself, preferring to depend on a random and undisciplined reading of the Federalist Papers.

Not a surprise. Dominionists are thick on the ground in non-denominational evangelical churches, where only a thin slice of the Bible is read, and which is interpreted to the whims of the local preacher, without a keel provided by wisdom of others.

It’s “write your own story” Christianity and law.

He's an American, just like you, and is entitled, just like you, to subscribe to whatever values and beliefs he likes.

There is no religious test for public office or service. One need only swear to defend the Constitution and uphold the law.

Hugh Conway
11-10-2018, 12:05 PM
yet another kooky weirdo that's part of the Republican establishment (he was appointed US attorney for southern Iowa at the tender age of 34 by W, 9 years after he graduated law school after all). It's the hard thing for never Trump Republicans - the rot goes back before Trump, Trump is just bringing the choicest kooks out into the light of day.

Osborne Russell
11-10-2018, 12:06 PM
No. He serves at the pleasure of the President. If executive policy is to challenge those laws, then he challenges them or finds other work. His personal opinions and statements are fodder for a confirmation process, should that occur. Apart from that, and under present circumstances, they don't matter.

Except that he must disavow his core understanding of the Constitution in order to serve his master. That's the kind of base servility you want in an AG. Someone incompetent and cowardly.

Norman Bernstein
11-10-2018, 12:51 PM
No. He serves at the pleasure of the President. If executive policy is to challenge those laws, then he challenges them or finds other work. His personal opinions and statements are fodder for a confirmation process, should that occur. Apart from that, and under present circumstances, they don't matter.

A 1978 Federal Ethics in Government law requires... I'll repeat that... REQUIRES.. officials to avoid even the appearance of impropriety and/or conflict of interest.

Whitaker's clear and obvious bias would require him to, at the very minimum, recuse himself from overseeing the Mueller investigation.

Of course, that presumes that the man has any ethics at all... which is highly in doubt.

Canoeyawl
11-10-2018, 12:54 PM
The DEA under donald is hard at work, taking a page from ronnie's playbook with no warrant searches, confiscating property and other assest forfeitures.

Business as usual.

Sky Blue
11-10-2018, 12:57 PM
People are entitled to hold and express opinions on matters, Norman. Even opinions that don't comport with the liberal prerogatives of the moment.

If Whitaker is to take the top job as a formal appointee, Democrats will be free to make all the enquiries they want.

Until then, this is the way it is going to be, and there's nothing unlawful about it.

Norman Bernstein
11-10-2018, 01:01 PM
People are entitled to hold and express opinions on matters, Norman. Even opinions that don't comport with the liberal prerogatives of the moment.

Yes, he is entitled to his opinions.....

....but if he doesn't recuse himself, he's in violation of Federal law.

Not surprising, since he does break the law:


Matthew Whitaker, the nation’s new acting attorney general, “repeatedly chided presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in public statements during 2016 while he was speaking for a group that is barred by its tax-exempt status from supporting or opposing political candidates during a campaign,” the AP (https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/whitaker-violate-tax-exempt-group-clinton-criticize) reports.

“Before coming to the Justice Department in 2017, Whitaker was president and executive of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, a charitable organization that styles itself as nonpartisan government watchdog promoting ethics and transparency. The tax-exempt group — known by its initials, FACT — is supposed to serve the public interest under Section 501c3 of the U.S. tax code, without directly or even indirectly supporting or opposing specific candidates for office.”

Peerie Maa
11-10-2018, 01:03 PM
No. He serves at the pleasure of the President. If executive policy is to challenge those laws, then he challenges them or finds other work. His personal opinions and statements are fodder for a confirmation process, should that occur. Apart from that, and under present circumstances, they don't matter.

You sound as though you think POTUS is above the law, like monarch ruling by Gods authority.

Canoeyawl
11-10-2018, 02:01 PM
GOP Jesus is the only true god

BrianW
11-11-2018, 12:54 AM
I'm shocked.. SHOCKED, I tell you... to learn that a right winger is hypocritical! :)

Immigration law was a federal level topic, healthcare wasn't. Now we're reversing that. ;)

skuthorp
11-11-2018, 03:19 AM
You sound as though you think POTUS is above the law, like monarch ruling by Gods authority.
I think donald rather fancies himself in that role, ruling by imperial decree as he seems to do.
His own party of fawning courtiers are unlikely to gainstay his behaviour as long as it keeps them in power, and in the sponsors bribery stream.

john welsford
11-11-2018, 03:51 AM
I've heard some pretty radical interpretations of the Constitution before, but this one deserves special attention.... after all, the guy is AG (for now)

Would this, if correct, pave the way for the entire west coast to secede?

John Welsford

oznabrag
11-11-2018, 07:46 AM
Immigration law was a federal level topic, healthcare wasn't. Now we're reversing that. ;)
It should be a criminal offense for anyone who backs this State’s Rights claptrap to refer to themselves as ‘Republicans ‘.

John Smith
11-11-2018, 07:52 AM
The question is: Will Republicans stand up and stop this?

Laws only matter if someone enforces them.

LeeG
11-11-2018, 09:25 PM
gawd, one more into the swamp

https://www.thedailybeast.com/hes-a-fanding-fool-doj-vets-fear-the-impact-whitaker-will-have-beyond-mueller

Inside the Department of Justice, however, the fears are more expansive. Whitaker is seen as a rogue and under-qualified new leader whose impact won’t just be felt on the Mueller probe but throughout the federal government.
.
.
We’ve seen this over and over again with the Trump administration. They never vet these people. It shows that they don’t really have a strategy when it comes to these things and then they end up having to backtrack.”
— A former official from the department.

Bob (oh, THAT Bob)
11-11-2018, 09:45 PM
Well if states nullify federal law *and the federal government does not push back*, then the law sounds pretty null to me. There will be lawsuits at the federal level but no one to enforce the actions. This will get interesting. Drugs. Weapons. Taxes. Discrimination. Pollution. My guess is highly selective enforcement by the feds under guys like Trump and Whitaker. Oh yeah, states refusing to send National Guard troops overseas.

Hugh Conway
11-11-2018, 10:30 PM
We’ve seen this over and over again with the Trump administration. They never vet these people. It shows that they don’t really have a strategy when it comes to these things and then they end up having to backtrack.”
— A former official from the department.

the strategy is incompetence and the base cheers.

Art Haberland
11-11-2018, 10:53 PM
he gets more crazy the more you learn about him

from WaPo


Acting Attorney General Matthew G. Whitaker has said that judges should have a “biblical view,” that he could not support nominees who are “secular” and declared that federal courts should be the “inferior branch” of government.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/as-a-senate-candidate-whitaker-said-he-could-not-support-secular-judicial-nominees-and-that-courts-should-be-inferior-branch/2018/11/09/608e23a4-e45c-11e8-8f5f-a55347f48762_story.html?utm_term=.0e8bc8f7fd60

C. Ross
11-11-2018, 10:58 PM
He's an American, just like you, and is entitled, just like you, to subscribe to whatever values and beliefs he likes.

There is no religious test for public office or service. One need only swear to defend the Constitution and uphold the law.

I agree 100% with your first sentence.

The last nine words of the second sentence are the problem. Can one defend the Constitution and uphold settled law if one casts doubts on some of the most bedrock parts of the Constitution? When a person becomes a public figure, much less the acting Attorney General, one's formerly personal views become public and subject to review.