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What About the Donald; Then Passing Comments on Birthright Citizenship and Jesse Ventura

This is cobbled together from things on Fox News [often Faux News] and the Associated press, plus my own considerable scholarship.

Recently. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump released some details about his his domestic and foreign policy thoughts, including the possibility of putting, as they say, "boots on the ground" to fight Islamic State militants.  I do not favor that metaphor, because it hides what we are doing.  It means putting our children, our boys and girls, on the ground with arms and in areas of peril. If that becomes "necessary," it must be debated and declared by Congress - we have had enough executive warfare, and far more than authorized by the Framers.

Trump entered the race in mid-June and has had little to say about what he would do about the compelling issues of the time, now and in the future. 

Trump said he would demand money from Middle East countries supported by the United States to help pay for the fight against extremist groups and to help recoup losses from the previous "wars" we waged there for them..

He claims that the key to victory over ISIS to take away their wealth by taking back the oil fields under their control in Iraq, and that is one of the moves that would require sending our kids into armed battle.

Trump said the U.S. has a chummy relationship with and defends Saudi Arabia largely because of its vast oil supply, putting to one side their repression of women.

He told NBC: “We send our ships. We send our planes.  We get nothing. Why? They're making a billion a day.”  I agree - why?  We won't pay off our own kids' college loans but we will give repressive regimes billions to fuel their repression merely because they have oil.

One of the more controversial positions he has taken is his suggestion that he would close down the abortion aspects of Planned Parenthood, while continuing to fund its women's health and non-abortion assistance programs.

He says he can't recall if or not he has donated money to the organization in the past, but he would oppose providing federal funds if it continues providing abortion services. There is, to his mind, a difference between private people funding things and the taxpayer being commanded to fund them.

Trump says he would ask nominees to the Supreme Court about their views on abortion, as well as many other topics, and he would take their views or non-answers into consideration when he made a decision on whom to nominate. It is fallacious for those seeking judicial posts to claim that they cannot be asked about certain subject matters.  Judges are as much political animals as are any other public servant, and the sovereigns [the people] have a right to know how they will exercise the power being loaned to them.  Trump opposes abortion except in case of rape, incest and to save the life of the mother.

Trump has called the nuclear agreement forged between Iran and world powers -- including the U.S. -- "a bad deal."  The full implications of that agreement, and how permanent it really is, are uncertain.

Trump argued that Iran will have nuclear weapons out of that "deal" and could take over parts of the world, saying, “I think it's going to lead to nuclear holocaust.”

Trump also said he wants to end birthright citizenship, rescind President Obama's executive orders on immigration and deport those in the U.S. illegally while providing an expedited return process for "the good ones."  It is not clear how one would rescind "birthright" citizenship, since it is expressly guaranteed in the 14th Amendment, and was a common law right until the horrid Dred Scott opinion.

On the birthright citizenship issue, I shall expand, because there is much confusion in the right-wing ranks.

Mark Levin, once considered a constitutional scholar, but that is now in doubt, writes on his website "The 14th Amendment didn't even give citizenship to Native Americans, why would it give citizenship to illegal aliens?”

Uh, hello! That's what the jurisdiction clause of the 14th is all about – Indians were not, at the time of the framing of the 14th Amendment, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States – they were their own sovereignty, which is why we made “treaties” with them [all of which we broke] instead of dealing with them via regular legislation. Moreover, the person being born here is not an illegal alien, so the 14th didn't “give” them citizenship – they are citizens.

I have generally been impressed with Levin's constitutional writings over the years, but now I have to reassess his supposed scholarship, because this issue is Con Law 101, and it is against his jingoistic position.

A person born here and subject to the jurisdiction of the United States [which all are now, except for foreign embassy members, and the like] are citizens, and no rabid racism can change that – only a constitutional amendment can.

Back to my prime focus, Trump.  He has also stuck by the vow he made when announcing his campaign that if elected he would build a wall along the southern U.S. border and have Mexico pay the cost. “The cost of building a permanent border wall pales mightily in comparison to what American taxpayers spend every single year on dealing with the fallout of illegal immigration on their communities, schools and unemployment offices.” Trump has said “Mexico must pay for the wall.”

If Mexico does not voluntarily pay for the wall, Trump plans on coercing them to do so by increasing the fees on all temporary visas issued to Mexican chief executives and diplomats, and on others at ports of entry to the U.S. from Mexico, and by wall-focusing tariffs.

Trump's numbers keep soaring, because he says things people are thinking, and because, like it or not, he is not an equivocator, unlike other non-transparent politicians.

In an interview on CNN last night, Jessee Ventura lauded Trump's views and did not brush away a query about whether he would serve as VP if Trump asked.  I would support such a ticket!

Michael Kennedy

Admitted to Bar, State of California, 1981 Education: Widener University, Chester, Pennsylvania (B.A., 1970) Southwestern University School of Law, Los Angeles, California (J.D., Scale, 1981) Harvard Law School, Program of Instruction for Lawyers, Cambridge, 1987


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