Written by Tom Fitton
When Republicans caved on budget negotiations, endorsing the president’s plan to impose massive tax increases while making no commitments on spending cuts, some might have been tempted to think that this was an isolated incident – a perhaps a winter flu bug that struck Republicans in the House of Representatives, attacking their spines. But now, with a “bi-partisan” illegal alien amnesty plan working its way through the upper branch of Congress, it is clear that the infection has reached a few Republicans in the United States Senate as well.
Per USA TODAY:
From the halls of Congress to the streets of Los Angeles, supporters of a plan to legalize the nation’s 11 million illegal immigrants celebrated a rare glimmer of hope Monday as a bipartisan group of legislators [in the U.S. Senate] outlined a broad plan to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws for the first time in a generation.
As President Obama prepared to deliver his own immigration push during a speech in Las Vegas today, many felt a sense of euphoria at the prospect of the first nationwide, comprehensive immigration plan since the Reagan administration.
Now proponents of the “reforms” aren’t calling this legislation “instant legalization” as conservative journalist Charles Krauthammer properly characterized it. They’re not that imprudent. They know (as we demonstrated in our Election Day poll conducted with Breitbart News) that most Americans, including a good number of Hispanics, want the immigration laws enforced. Instead, you’ll hear Senators use words like “pathway to citizenship.” (Politicians love those weasel words. Remember the term “selective deportation?” Same principle here.)
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has bought into the amnesty lie and is being used by the Left to provide cover for their open borders proposal.
“Hoping to launch a major overhaul of the nation’s immigration system, Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and seven fellow senators unveiled on Monday a ‘tough but fair’ bipartisan plan to allow millions of illegal immigrants in Florida and elsewhere a chance to get legal and earn their way toward citizenship,” wrote the Florida Sun-Sentinel.
“Rubio’s mission is to reassure tea party conservatives that these proposals don’t amount to a blanket ‘amnesty,’ while rallying reluctant Republicans and helping their party gain the trust of Hispanic voters. In a sense, the rising Republican star is working in tandem with President Barack Obama, who flies to Las Vegas today to pitch similar changes in immigration law.”
And therein lies part of the problem. If you’re on the same page with President Obama on immigration reform, you’re on the wrong page. Still, instead of persuading the president to change his ways, Senator Rubio is now on a “charm offensive” to sell a bill of goods to conservatives, from Mark Levin to Rush Limbaugh to Sean Hannity, with varying degrees of success. You might imagine that even the smoothest politician might have a hard time explaining that an amnesty plan hatched originally by Ted Kennedy and being shepherded now by Chuck Schumer, a liberal partisan senator from New York, is good policy.
So sure enough, not all Americans are buying what the “Gang of 8” is selling.
On Monday, as news spread of the proposals, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) made clear where he stands: “No comprehensive plan can pass Congress as long as this administration continues to defy existing federal law. What good are promises of future enforcement when the Administration covertly undermines those laws now in place?”
On Tuesday, Senator Sessions took matters a step further calling for the resignation of the “father of stealth amnesty,” Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement John Morton.
Here’s a squib from the senator’s floor statement:
….as we consider the serious issue of immigration reform, it is important for us to understand where we are as a country with regard to the laws that we have and how they’re being enforced. I will share some thoughts about that today because the American people and members of Congress need to fully understand what’s happening. It is well documented that the Obama Administration has either unilaterally weakened or outright waived immigration enforcement—at the border, in the interior, at the worksite, and at the welfare office—of existing immigration laws…
…At the center of this misconduct is John Morton, the Director of ICE. The evidence that I am about to share with you leads me to the unfortunate conclusion that Mr. Morton can no longer effectively serve at his post and—perhaps more importantly—there can be no comprehensive immigration reform as long as he is the person charged with enforcing it.
(Click here to read the full statement, which includes a detailed timeline of the Obama administration’s transgressions related to illegal alien amnesty, as spearheaded by Morton.)
There is no question that the Senate plan is unjust. Illegal aliens have broken our laws and they must be held accountable, like other criminals. But here’s something else. Simply talking about providing a “pathway to citizenship” to illegal aliens is only going to worsen the already out-of-control illegal immigration crisis by inducing greater numbers of illegal aliens to flood across the border to take advantage of the program. How do we know this?
Back in 2005, Judicial Watch uncovered a Border Patrol survey conducted by the Bush administration in 2004 to determine what impact amnesty would have on illegal immigration. Want to take a guess at the outcome? Even the rumor of Bush’s amnesty program led to a sharp spike in illegal immigration.
So what do you think is going to happen when illegal alien amnesty becomes the actual law of the land?
Amnesty is unworkable, unjust, undermines the rule of law, and will harm the public safety. That is why amnesty was rejected in the Bush administration, was rejected in Obama’s first term (the Dream Act), and why it should be rejected today.
Now is the time, before this amnesty plan gets off the ground, to let your U.S. Senators know how you feel about this issue. Call the U.S. Senate operator at (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak your senators. And then ask your family and friends to do the same. The Establishment in Washington, DC, wants to avoid a debate and pretend this issue is a done deal. It will be up to everyday Americans to let them know otherwise.
When leftists are unable to persuade voters to adopt their radical agendas at the ballot box, they turn to the courts. Sure enough, there is a battle raging in California now that has far-reaching implications for the bedrock institution of marriage. And Judicial Watch is standing up against another leftist attempt to impose its will through judicial fiat.
On January 29, 2013, Judicial Watch joined with the Allied Educational Foundation (AEF) in filing an amicus curiae brief with the United States Supreme Court in support of California’s Proposition 8, establishing that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” (On February 7, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled Proposition 8 unconstitutional by a vote of 2-1, in a decision the amicus brief says “imputes the worst possible motives to voters.”)
According to the Judicial Watch-AEF amicus brief, should the Supreme Court fail to overturn the Ninth Circuit’s decision, the people of California would be deprived of “the right to decide for themselves the ways in which they want to restrict or liberalize their marriage laws – or not.”
Our amicus continues, “The Ninth Circuit’s sleight of hand decision … constitutes a dangerous erosion of the principle of rational basis review … Furthermore, the Ninth Circuit decision expands the reaches of the Equal Protection clause in such a way as to eclipse the people’s sovereignty to make laws for their own governance … Finally, this [Supreme] Court should find that petitioners have standing to bring this appeal, as a contrary ruling would undermine the people’s rights to initiative and referendum in twenty-six states.”
Before getting into more of the legal issues at play in this lawsuit, let me just pause to re-emphasize this point. Have you ever stopped to think about all of the various ways the Left tries to inappropriately silence the voice of the majority? On virtually every issue of significance, the Left would rather a judge or a government bureaucrat or some czar tucked away in a cubicle in Washington, DC, issue edicts that we must follow. Or President Obama himself, who “can’t wait” for the American people to catch up to his infinite wisdom, will instead impose his agenda via executive order.
Keep that in mind as you follow the debates ongoing on Capitol Hill covering everything from gun rights to illegal immigration to what food you can eat. This is about stealing God-given right of self-government, which brings me back to the specific legal arguments in this lawsuit. The Judicial Watch-AEF amicus brief argues that:
The Supreme Court should re-affirm a rational basis standard of review (the concept that a law is valid if a legislature has a legitimate interest in enacting a statute): “The law the Proposition 8 enacted bears a rational relationship to the legitimate state goal of increasing the chances that both parents will raise children they unintentionally conceive.” The brief adds, “Only by severing the meaning of marriage from procreation can the Ninth Circuit deny that Proposition 8 is rationally related to responsible procreation … If the courts can overturn laws by reimagining their purpose, the judiciary’s power over the legislative process will be enormous.”
Democratic decision-making should be protected from the overbearing judicial power respondents prefer. “The Ninth Circuit’s decision relies on the creative argument that Proposition 8 is unlawful because it functioned to ‘take away’ a previously granted right,” the brief states. “If allowed to stand, the Ninth Circuit’s ruling would create a new ‘one-way ratchet’ rule allowing state judiciaries to grant new rights which are instantly irrevocable by the citizens of that state.”
If proponents of Prop 8 do not have standing to defend the law in court, democratic self-governance across the nation will be threatened. Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and current Governor Jerry Brown both refused to defend Proposition 8 in court, prompting proponents of the initiative to seek to intervene as defendants. The Judicial Watch-AEF brief argued, “A ruling that Proposition 8’s supporters did not have the standing to defend their law would therefore constitute a devastating blow to the people’s right to direct democracy across the country.”
In other words, if Governors Schwarzenegger or Brown had defended the people’s right to decide this issue for themselves, as provided to them by the initiative process, the people would not have had to intervene.
The brief continues by asserting that redefining marriage would have a deleterious social impact and, as a result, a rational state interest in preserving traditional marriage. Citing an assault on traditional marriage by the Bolsheviks in Russia, the brief details how “the consequences of early Bolshevik family engineering were documented as: an epidemic of divorces; economic hardship on women and children, particularly among the peasantry; an increase in “shelterless” (bezprizorni) children; and an ultimately diminished social status for women despite the feminist Bolshevik rhetoric.”
On Election Day 2008, 52% of voters in California elected to change the California State constitution to state that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” The proposition predictably led to a number of lawsuits challenging its validity, which have been winding their way through the courts. In one lawsuit (Strauss v. Horton), the California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8, but allowed existing same-sex marriages to stand, adding to the confusion.
On August 4, 2010, District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that Proposition 8 violated the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. On August 16, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ordered the judgment stayed pending an appeal. On February 7, 2012, the Ninth Circuit Court upheld Judge Walker’s decision, but stayed the ruling preventing additional same-sex marriages from taking place until the appeals process has been exhausted. (The Ninth Circuit Court also refused to invalidate Judge Walker’s ruling on the grounds that he failed to disclose that he had been in a homosexual relationship for ten years prior to registering his ruling on Proposition 8 and, therefore, had a conflict of interest.)
What is at stake here is the very basic right of the citizens of a sovereign state to make their own laws. The Supreme Court should hold that the people of California were acting within their constitutional rights when they sought to protect marriage from being redefined by activist judges. If it fails to do so, then key aspects of self-government – including the powers of initiative and referendum — would be rendered meaningless.
Judicial Watch filed an amicus curiae brief in 2011 with the Supreme Court for the State of California, supporting the right of California citizens to defend Proposition 8 in court, and an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012 on behalf of the proponents of Proposition 8, urging the court to hear the case. Judicial Watch also filed a FOIA lawsuit against the Obama Justice Department to find out why the nation’s top law enforcement agency reversed course and decided to not defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court.
So you see why JW has been so active in this legal battle. Make no mistake; the institution of marriage is under attack like never before. And when the battle enters the courts, Judicial Watch will do what it can to ensure that the rule of law prevails over the personal whims of “empathic” judges and the leftist radicals who pull their strings.
Speaking of leftist radicals pulling strings…
I ask again: Who is running the Justice Department? It certainly appears evident, as the Obama administration enters its second term, that leftist radicals have a seat at the table inside Justice, and are making both policy and personnel decisions.
As Judicial Watch has previously disclosed, the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) has colluded with a number of leftist special interest groups. For example, the DOJ worked closely with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) regarding the dismissal of the voter intimidation lawsuit filed against the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense.
The DOJ also partnered with the ACORN-connected Project Vote in advance of the 2012 election on a national campaign to use the National Voting Rights Act (NVRA) to register more individuals on public assistance, widely considered an important demographic for the Obama campaign.
And now, Judicial Watch has uncovered two dozen pages of emails from the DOJ Civil Rights and Tax divisions revealing questionable behavior by agency personnel while negotiating for Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) co-founder Morris Dees to appear as the featured speaker at a July 31, 2012, “Diversity Training Event.” Judicial Watch obtained the records pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) submitted to the DOJ on September 10, 2012.
The Judicial Watch FOIA request was prompted by an apparently politically motivated shooting at the Family Research Council (FRC) headquarters in August, 2012. At the time of the shooting, FRC President Tony Perkins accused the SPLC of sparking the shooting, saying the shooter “was given a license to shoot … by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center that have been reckless in labeling organizations as hate groups because they disagree with them on public policy.”
Indeed, on its website, the SPLC has depicted FRC as a hate group,” along with such mainstream conservative organizations as the American Family Association, Concerned Women for America, and Coral Ridge Ministries.”
We filed the FOIA requests to determine what, if any, influence the SPLC’s branding of hate groups has had on government agencies. The FOIA request specifically asked for “any and all records concerning, regarding, or relating to the Southern Poverty Law Center” between January 1 and August 31, 2012, including the Dees’ presentation sponsored by the Civil Rights and Tax divisions of the DOJ, which employees were instructed qualified “for mandatory annual diversity training for supervisors.”
According to the emails obtained by Judicial Watch, Dees’ speech was to be “simulcast to everyone’s PC throughout the Department.” The emails produced by the DOJ include correspondence between DOJ personnel planning the Diversity Training Event and SPLC personnel, including Dees:
May 3, 2012 email – “We would like to tape the [Morris Dees] remarks and, at the same time, out Morris real time on the DOJ system can watch from their desks. Is that okay with Morris?”
June 27, 2012 – “Let me know Morris’ air schedule so I can pick him up at airport and plan an evening for us if he stays over.”
July 11, 2012 – “I will be at National in my [REDACTED] in which he has ridden before … I can arrange dinner. If he has a preference in DC where he wants to eat … tell him to let me know his druthers.”
July 16, 2012 – “The AAG’s office want to take Morris out to lunch before the 1:30 pm July 31 remarks … I’d pick Morris up at his hotel at 11:30 am if that worked for him.”
July 23, 2012 – “I will pick you [Morris Dees] up at the airport July 30. Would you go out to dinner with my wife and me and our two teenage daughters that first night? The girls need some inspiration from a master of inspiration.”
The SPLC has, in the past few years, taken to labeling organizations with conservative views on social issues as “hate groups.” Given these fawning emails, one would have thought that a head of state was visiting the DOJ. The SPLC is an attack group, and it is disturbing that it has premier access to our DOJ, which is charged with protecting the First Amendment rights of all Americans. And these emails further confirm that politically-correct “mandatory” diversity training programs are a waste of taxpayer money.
You may recall that JW previously uncovered records detailing some of these diversity training programs taking place inside the Department of Agriculture. One exercise required participants to bang on the tables and declare that our Founding Fathers were illegal immigrants. This was all a part of ushering in a “new era of civil rights” at the agency. With people like Morris Dees having access to the levers of power inside the Obama administration, it is little wonder why such ridiculous and wasteful programs see the light of day.
Until next week
Tom Fitton, President
Judicial Watch, Inc., a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law. Through its educational endeavors, Judicial Watch advocates high standards of ethics and morality in our nation's public life and seeks to ensure that political and judicial officials do not abuse the powers entrusted to them by the American people. Judicial Watch fulfills its educational mission through litigation, investigations, and public outreach