Monday, March 20, 2017

The Heritage Insider news

Judges are wrong again in ruling against the Trump travel order. Judges in Hawaii and Maryland have issued injunctions against President Trump’s suspension of travel and refugee settlement from six majority Muslim countries, finding that the order likely violates the First Amendment’s establishment clause by discriminating against Muslims. Among the errors made by the judges: ignoring the law that gives the President the authority to make these determinations, ignoring Supreme Court precedents that affirm the President’s authority in these matters, trying to judge the perceived intent of the order rather than simply reading its plain language, and ignoring the evidence of a real national security threat presented by the revised executive order. And there is this huge error, notes Hans von Spakovsky:
“[Judge] Chuang [of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland] actually does discuss §1182(f), but he then claims that applying that section against immigrants, as opposed to alien visitors, violates another provision of federal immigration law, 8 U.S.C. §1152(a)(1)(A). This provision prohibits discrimination ‘in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of his race, sex, nationality, place of birth, or place or residence.’
“Chuang dismisses the government’s argument that another provision of that same law—which specifically says that nothing in §1152 (a) ‘shall be construed to limit the authority of the secretary of state to determine the procedures for the processing immigrant of visa applications’—doesn’t apply to Trump’s action.
“Why? Because Trump is not the secretary of state, and this provision ‘expressly applies to the secretary of state.’
“This is a bizarre conclusion. The president does not process visa applications himself. That is the State Department’s job, and the secretary of state is answerable directly to the president.
“A provision of federal law such as this one that gives the secretary of state the authority ‘to determine the procedures’ for alien visas is obviously authority that the president can direct the secretary to exercise.” []
Hawaii’s hypocrisy: Commenting on his office’s lawsuit against the Trump administration’s travel order, Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin accused the administration of wanting “a system where there are certain ‘races’ that are going to be presumptively in a second-class type of environment, and there will be a ‘superior race’ that is running everything.”
As noted above, there are reasons for rejecting Chin’s claims about the Trump order. But since Chin raises the issue of racial discrimination, it’s worth noting that the state of Hawaii has been pursuing its very own Jim Crow set-up for decades. Today, the state’s Office of Hawaiian Affairs distributes scholarships, loans, grants, and low-interest leases based on racial identity. []
Even worse, the state’s elected officials have for years supported the creation of a tribal government, elected only by those who can prove they have the right blood in their veins, and which is exempt from portions of the Constitution. []
When the effort to advance that goal in Congress failed, the Obama administration took up the cause by issuing regulations that laid out how tribal status could be established for native Hawaiians. That effort was halted by the Supreme Court in November 2015 because it was clearly unconstitutional. []
Be part of the solution to rolling back regulation. As we’ve previously noted, the Congressional Review Act, little-used since it passed in 1996, gives Congress with a powerful tool for reining in the regulatory state. The law provides for the revoking of regulations with a simply majority vote in Congress and a presidential signature. Under the CRA Congress has 60 days to vote to disapprove a rule, but that clock starts only once agencies submit rules for review under the procedures specified in the law. For many regulations drafted since 1996, those rules were not followed or ignored altogether. That means the 60-day review period never started, and therefore thousands of regulations are ripe for overturning. The Pacific Legal Foundation has created a website that allows anybody to research and report rules that were never sent to Congress. With your help, the regulatory state can be brought to heel. []
North Carolina is reducing regulation. In 2013, North Carolina passed a law slating rules for automatic repeal unless they are reviewed and reapproved. So far, the law has had an impact, reports Jon Sanders:
“Already North Carolina is seeing its stock of rules streamline. Its regulatory burden is lightening. About one-eighth of the rules reviewed so far are being removed. Another one-fourth of rules have to undergo further scrutiny through the rule adoption process, meaning it’s possible more are repealed.
“Still, most (61.9 percent) of the rules reviewed so far have been retained. As a result, the chairman of the state Rules Review Commission has urged legislators to make the process stricter to ensure scrutiny of each rule – either the rule is repealed or sent back through the rulemaking process as if newly proposed.” []
When Bharara overreached. Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney who was asked to resign/was fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, once tried to investigate’s commenters because he thought their hyperbolic statements made on the website’s comment page constituted a threat against a sitting judge. In pursuit of that investigation, he also obtained a court order barring Reason from even talking about the matter. []
Free people find a way around stupid government rules. The 20,000 lectures that the University of California removed from its YouTube channel in order to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act are not gone forever. A website called LBRY has copied them all and is making them available to the public for free. []
Leonard Leo is the winner of the Becket Fund’s 2017 Canterbury Medal for his work defending religious freedom. Leo will be honored at a dinner on May 4 at the Pierre Hotel in New York City. []
Shame on. The Alliance Defending Freedom has constructed a bracket of shame. It shows which schools among those whose basketball teams made the NCAA tournament are the worst defenders of student free speech on campus. How do you like Bucky Badger now? []
If it weren’t for their double standards, they’d have no standards at all. The established media is at it again—trying to defend its privileges against journalistic upstarts. This time the Washington Post’s Paul Farhi has written an article wondering why a Daily Signal reporter should be allowed to provide pool reports for the White House Press Corps. Not once in 900 words did he point to any problem with the pool reports produced by the Daily Signal’s Fred Lucas. His issue, rather, is that the Daily Signal is operated by The Heritage Foundation which has “a vested interest in the direction of White House and federal policy.”
Instead of noticing that there are clearly Left-leaning outlets already in the pool rotation (Huffington Post, NPR, and Talking Points Memo), Fahri opines that the “slope could become even more slippery if extremist or racist organizations sought similar status.”
Daily Signal Editor Rob Bluey responds:
“[Fred] Lucas is a great example of a respected journalist who has a well-earned reputation for the quality of his work. The Daily Signal takes editorial independence just as seriously as The Washington Post. Yet because we’re associated with The Heritage Foundation, somehow the standard is different. Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint has never directed our news coverage at The Daily Signal. I certainly have discussions with him, as happens between editors at The Washington Post and billionaire owner Jeff Bezos. Stop pretending that Bezos is devoid of an agenda. After all, that’s why he purchased the newspaper.” []