Talking with friends last evening, the topic of misconceptions and outright lies told to the people of this nation by “so-called” constitutional lawyers and “carpet baggers” emerged. The consensus of the group centered on the complacency, laziness, and full of excuses united States citizens of not reading the founding documents for themselves and learning the meaning. As a disclaimer, if the previous statement does not apply to you, it is not meaning you. This point happened to ring out when reading that Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz appeared on “The Cats Roundtable” radio show in New York to discuss the proposed refugee ban by GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Dershowitz claimed the fear of terrorism should not “be used to deny rights to Syrian refugees seeking to enter this country.” According to Dershowitz, “Every time we have any kind of threat, the first thing we do is try to compromise our constitutional rights.” Speaking to host John Catsimatidis, Dershowitz stated this was apparent with the Alien and Sedition Acts passed after the War for Independence due to the fear of France.
Dershowitz is conveying that the fear of terrorism is being used to deny rights to Syrian refugees that want to come to the united States. The question arises, “Do people have the right to live where they want?” Yes they do; however, nations, including the united States, have criteria and a process that individuals, who are not born into the nation, follow in order to be allowed entry. Citizenship and entry into nations are not “rights.” Those are privileges. As many have indicated, when it comes to privileges, those can be given and taken by those who bestow them. Since government determines citizenship and the criteria to enter the nation, those allowed to enter are bestowed the privilege. Refusing anyone entry, including refugees, has not denied rights to that individual.
“Every time we have any kind of threat, the first thing we do is try to compromise our constitutional rights,” claims Dershowitz. As citizens have seen, government tramples and infringes upon our rights with the least little threat, real or imagined. For a clear example, look at the state of the nation after 9/11. Dershowitz repeats the phrase citizens hear often — constitutional rights. The Constitution does not bestow rights to anyone — it limits government to limited powers and prevents it from infringing upon God given individual unalienable rights. And, the Declaration of Independence states “unalienable” not inalienable. The link to the National Archives Declaration of Independence is provided as reference for those who may be confused.
So far, Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz is conveying information that is less than factual to the public who are too complacent, lazy and full of excuses to verify it. He speaks from a position of authority as a law professor. When individuals hear his credentials, the auto-response in the brain triggers the acceptance of his statements as fully factual.
Dershowitz did not stop there. He referenced Department of Homeland Security head Tom Ridge as having the national security interests of America at heart. Dershowitz continues to uphold a short-term pause of Syrian refugees to “get our computers in order” and ensure the vetting process works. However, he claims if any of these issues turn into a long-term prohibition with implementation of a policy of excluding individuals based on religion, it could create a problem and the Supreme Court could rule the ban based on religion as unconstitutional.
“The Constitution is pretty firm about no religious tests and about freedom of speech,” he said. “Of course it also gives great latitude of who we let into the country. So it’s not easy to predict how the Supreme Court will definitely come out, but I think if it were a blatant prohibition of all Muslims for a long period of time, I think the Supreme Court would strike that down as unconstitutional.”
Again, Dershowitz relays less than factual information. First, Article I, Section 8 lists the enumerated powers of Congress. One of the enumerated powers is “to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, ….” What this tells us is the created federal government in the legislative body of Congress establishes immigration and naturalization laws that are uniform for all states. Since this is a function of government, authorized by the people, the people through Congress can establish any rules for entry into the nation and the criteria for obtaining citizenship. This establishes the fact that citizens of foreign nations do not have a “right” to enter.
The only reference to a “religious test” in the Constitution is contained in Article VI, paragraph 3, which applies to office holders in the government. It states:
“The Senators and Representatives before mentions, and the members of the several State legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support the Constitution, but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”
Remember, the Constitution is a limit on government, not the people. And, the mention of “religious test” applies only to office holders in government. The people, through the ballot box, can apply any criteria they wish. Furthermore, this has nothing to do with refugees even though supposedly “constitutional lawyers” and Muslim sympathizers keep touting “religious test” as an exclusion to immigration is prohibited.
When it comes to freedom of speech, the First Amendment of the Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, ….” The one amendment many forget is the Ninth Amendment that states, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” This covers the freedom of association, the right to exercise control over your own body, etc. It proves the people can absolutely apply any criteria to determine their association, including religion.
While the Constitution does not delineate criteria determining “who we let in this country,” it does authorize Congress, on behalf of the people and the States, to make the rules on immigration and naturalization. The immigration and naturalization laws passed by Congress, within their duly Constitutional authority, do delineate with “narrow latitude” who may enter and who may not. Being that Congress is duly authorized to pass those laws by the Constitution, which was formulated “by the people,” those laws are constitutional. Citizenship and immigration into a nation are privileges bestowed by government, not rights given by God. Laws enacted by Congress, that fall under the enumerated powers duly authorized by the Constitution, without violating the God-given individual unalienable rights of the citizens, constitutional amendments and the articles of the Constitution, are constitutional.
This entire “religious test” nonsense started with Ben Carson, 2016 GOP presidential candidate, indicating he would not advocate for a Muslim president. The hubbub moved to statements made by Sen. Ted Cruz, also a 2016 GOP presidential candidate, indicating the importation of tens of thousands of Syrian Muslims was “lunacy” and persecuted Christians at risk of genocide should have first priority.
As Dershowitz continues to exert his “constitutional” knowledge, he stated, quite matter-or-factly:
“If you have a mosque that’s open to everybody, a synagogue that’s open to everybody, a church that’s open to everybody, I have no problem with the FBI sitting in the back an listening to what you’re saying to everybody,” he said. “The same thing is true with Facebook posting or social media postings. If you’re opening them up to everybody, the FBI ought to be looking at those things.”
Mr. “I am a Harvard law professor and know the Constitution” Dershowitz supports FBI surveillance of churches, synagogues and mosques that is open to everyone to listen to what is being said in those religious buildings, and monitoring speech on the internet through social media outlets. Instead of selective targeting of individuals identified through other investigative means, he supports the surveillance state for everyone, innocent as well as those suspected of criminal activity. This is a violation of the First, Fourth and Ninth Amendments.
When our little group dispersed, the conclusion we agreed upon was a simple one: ignorance can be fixed with education but there is no cure for stupid. With supposedly knowledgeable individuals and many government stooges parading out to declare to the people the law contained in the Constitution, citizens need to arm themselves with the information to counter their lies and partially false rhetoric where the Constitution is concerned. Publius Huldah has done the research and compilation work for you. All one has to do is access her website and read. If you have difficulty or questions, Ms. Publius will be happy to help by answering your questions.