Yesterday, I was commenting on FB that my question of yet a day before, also on FB, had not been answered. The question regarded Donald Trump’s proposal to suspend immigration of Muslims into the United States. The idea was loudly rejected by many, including prominent Republicans, on several grounds. One ground was that it was “unconstitutional.” I asked why anyone would think that and I had got no answer on FB when I wrote, 24 hours later, around 6 or 7 pm .
Only on hour after commenting on the lack of answer, I got a swift, convincing response through Fox News. The network’s flamboyant token liberal, Geraldo Rivera argued that the Trump proposal was unconstitutional because of Article VI of the US Constitution, precisely. Article VI, he said several times, forbids religious tests. He affirmed it repeatedly, just like that. Here is what Article VI actually says:
Article VI, (3rd paragraph, complete)
” The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, 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 this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” (Emphasis mine, not Thomas Jefferson’s.)
Obviously, the people Trump wants to exclude are not applying for public office but for admission to this country. They are not even electable to any office, even municipal dog catcher. This part of the Constitution does not apply to them, same as it does not apply to me.
Rivera bragged several times during the same show about his legal training. He even specified that he had graduated from law school “13th of several hundreds.” He is not legal slouch. I don’t believe he could not recognize his misinterpretation of the Constitution, when I, a former illegal alien with no legal training at all did. I think he was simply lying. It happens all the time. I keep catching liberals of all ranks and stations in lies or otherwise in bad faith. I wonder if there is a commentator on the other side of the aisle who says the same about conservatives, of course. And please, don’t throw Donald Trump at me. There is no reason to believe he is a conservative.
Digression: I know some will think I set the bar really low, that it isn’t difficult to catch Geraldo lying or stretching the truth, the facts, reality, etc. But, I disagree. I think he is just a precursor or a path opener. He tells the same untruths earlier and in a more direct way than other liberals
The view that the Trump proposal to suspend Muslim immigration is not unconstitutional, that it is, in fact, constitutional, leaves intact all other grounds for rejecting it. Myself, I have made another proposal on FB, I think, much before Trump opened his big mouth. I think America is not a country that can remain indifferent to the plight of children and women war refugees. We really can’t allow tens of thousands or more to live and die in the cold without hope. I believe we can take in any number of children from Syria and from Iraq, and their mothers. (And yes, I realize that recent events in San Bernardino demonstrate that being a mother of a small child may not be enough to repress a woman’s enthusiasm for mass murder and martyrdom.) Under what status children and women should be taken in is another question. Sheltering people in an emergency should not legally imply permanent residency or citizenship. Congress can create a status of temporary resident.
Muslim men of military age are another story. They don’t belong here. The fact that a handful of them will turn out to be really terrorists is not my main reason to think so. Rather, I believe they should be in Syria and in Iraq fighting the butcher Assad and the savages of ISIS. At a time when more and more Americans are risking their lives there to rid of the world of those monsters, males from the area who are capable to bear arms should not be playing volleyball in American parks. The Kurds of both Syria and Iraq are showing the way. Let Muslim Arabs join them. If they don’t want to fight, against the beasts in their countries, why should we, or give them room and board?
I have no proposal regarding Muslims from countries other than Syria and Iraq who were clearly included in Trump’s ban. I believe banning them for a period would be constitutional. Whether it would good for America, I am not sure at this point, probably not.
Here is one thing to worry about: Scholars have agreed recently that the President of the United States may exclude any category of persons under his own authority. What if Trump is actually elected?
PS IN case you are wondering, I feel no personal enmity toward Muslims. I have known Muslims all my life and I have liked pretty much every one of them. I am baffled by the fact that there does seem to be a coincidence between Islam and terrorism, right now. And, I repeat, once more, that the victims of Islamic terrorism are mostly Muslims.