As laid out at the end of the second blog in this series, this installment carries the title “Trump’s battle with our Constitution”. As of the date of this writing, he has three with each considered next.
The imposition of a tax or tariff
Primadonald has brashly announced that the wall he will build along the US/Mexican border will be paid for by the latter. The mechanism for making that happen will be a tax or tariff that the candidate intends to slap on all goods coming into our country from Mexico.
Insofar as the Constitution is concerned, no president alone has the authority to do this. More specifically, Article I, Section 8 gives to the Congress the sole and exclusive prerogative of raising taxes and tariffs. If that body does not accede to a president’s wishes then it doesn’t get done. In that regard, there are good reasons, rooted in our history, for Congress to demur. Those were covered in Part II of this series and need not be reiterated here.
Apparently, all of the foregoing has been lost on Trump who continues to speak as though he will either rule as a monarch or simply bend the Congress to his will whenever he chooses.
Gay marriage as a “states’ rights” matter
To leave the question of gay marriage up to the states is problematic on two counts: First, this idea flies in the face of our Civil War and its outcome. The side that Primadonald is championing, lost. Second and even more important, to turn the question of gay marriage over to individual states, would likely lead in some, to a violation of gays’ rights under the Constitution’s “equal protection” clause which was upheld in a very recent United States Supreme Court decision.
Surely the candidate was aware of all this when he spoke of treating gay marriage as a states’ rights issue. Why then did he speak as he did? The simplest, most straightforward and plausible answer is “political pandering” aimed at voters in conservative states that not only oppose gay unions, but mistakenly believe that states’ rights override individual rights. Sorry, but that’s not the way our Constitution works.
The deportation of “anchor babies”
If you are unfamiliar with this term, it refers to children born in the US of one or both parents who are here illegally (1). By dint of their being born in our country, these children gain citizenship as per the 14th Amendment in the Constitution.
Here is another instance where Primadonald’s promise to deport these individuals was made in spite of his full knowledge of what the Constitution holds. But, the candidate believes he can finesse this matter by arguing in court that historically, the 14th Amendment was only intended to apply to the children of slaves.
This is another example of Primadonald’s bravado losing to history. As a matter of fact, in Lynch v. Clark the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiff Lynch who was born here of illegal Irish parents who returned to Ireland shortly after their daughter’s birth. The court decision was handed down in 1844, about 20 years before the Civil War was fought and had nothing whatsoever to do with protecting the children of slaves.
What does the foregoing prove?
The obvious answer to this question is that Primadonald has a very incomplete and erroneous understanding of both our history and Constitution. What is stunning is that his rapt fans, who cheer the tariff, states rights and deportation, are just as muddled. Now, add to this mix of ignorance and naivete’, the mainstream news media who have thus far failed miserably at calling the candidate on one bit of his loose, indefensible talk. Primadonald’s challengers for the GOP nomination have been just as feckless out of fear that challenging their opponent’s bluster will lose them the support of Trumpistas should their man drop from the race. (2)
In a few days, this series will be wrapped up with an Epilogue.
- In spite of the fact that the term “anchor babies” has been used quite extensively in and out of the media and for some time, some members of the latter have suddenly decided that it is politically incorrect and thus should be replaced with something more appropriate.
- Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has taken that strategy to a whole new level. He has actually been supporting of Trump, seeking every opportunity to curry favor with the man. The two will soon hold a rally for those opposing the nuclear deal with Iran.