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MNUCHIN SHOULD REPLACE IRS TAXPAYER ADVOCATE NINA OLSEN FOR DERELICTION OF DUTY

By Rick Manning

Did you know that the Internal Revenue Service has someone who is appointed by the Treasury Secretary to serve as the “Taxpayer Advocate?”

The position was designed by Congress to have a high level of independence from the IRS to, “assist taxpayers in resolving problems with the IRS”, “identify areas in which taxpayers have problems in dealings with the IRS”, “to the extent possible, propose changes in the administrative practices of the IRS to mitigate problems identified”, and “identify potential legislative changes which may be appropriate to mitigate such problems.”

Given the list of responsibilities, it would be reasonable to assume that this little-known position was created in the wake of the Obama Administration’s abuse of power in singling out conservative groups and contributors to be wrung through the bureaucratic wringer.  But no, the Taxpayer Advocate position was first created by Congress in 1996, and the current inhabitant, Nina Olsen, was appointed in January, 2001.

So, where was the IRS Taxpayer Advocate when Lois Lerner and her cronies were busily abusing and harassing conservative groups?

Great question, and it is one that former Senator Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.) asked in a 2013 interview with Politico saying, “That was the whole idea of the creation of the taxpayer advocate — that somebody could intervene on behalf of the taxpayer, and it looks like the intervention didn’t happen.”

Kerrey continued by speaking directly to tea party complaints about abuse being ignored saying, “These entities were reporting they were being singled out, and [the response] was sort of, ‘Don’t worry about it; it’s just a bunch of right-wing organizations that don’t like the president,” he said. “As it turns out, they were right.  The government was abusing its power.”

Is it possible that the Taxpayer Advocate, after about a decade in office, became so cozy with those she was assigned to stand up to, that she became a Stockholm Syndrome-like collaborator with the IRS?

The evidence seems compelling that Ms. Olsen has gone beyond collaborator to full-blown prison guard as in her 2013 report discussing the IRS targeting of conservative political groups, she argued for more regulation by the IRS of political activity stating the following: “The IRS and Treasury should develop a proposed regulation or revenue procedure that lists the factors IRS will apply and proposes a specific and detailed method for applying them. The guidance should explain how to apply the test to organizations before they have commenced operations. The IRS and Treasury should request public comment on this proposal to improve the guidance and to ensure that its process is transparent.”

In her June 2013 Special Report to Congress on Political Activity and the rights of Applicants for Tax-Exempt Status, she suggested that, “the IRS should undertake a random audit of existing IRC 501(c)(4) organizations to identify compliance risks.

Shortly after Olsen’s recommendation appeared, the IRS did propose a regulation dealing with speech by 501(c)(4) organizations that would have stifled political speech. The IRS regulations were so egregious that they had to be pulled due to the inability of the agency to handle the more than 150,000 comments generated against them. Congress later defunded any such rule from being issued.

House Ways and Means Committee Member George Holding (R-N.C.) wrote in Breitbart.com about another abusive IRS practice called the National Research Program (NRP) which subjects individuals to in-depth random audits for statistical purposes. The NRP is the equivalent of a full taxpayer proctology exam and is significantly more stressful than a standard audit which might focus on a few items on a return. Instead the NRP forces the taxpayer to justify everything on the entire return so the IRS can get better statistical data.

What is the Taxpayer Advocates’ response to the NRP? Holding writes, “More alarming (than even the random audit itself), however, is that Nina Olson, head of the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate, charged with keeping an eye on things inside the IRS for taxpayers defended the program, even as she called the NRP ‘tormenting’ and referred to those who get pulled into this program as ‘guinea pigs’.”

There may be a perfectly rational reason why Ms. Olson always seemed to side with what was a rogue IRS during the Obama Administration, but after sixteen years in office, new Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin should take a fresh look at her tenure to determine if the American taxpayer needs a new watchdog and advocate in the belly of the beast.

Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government. 

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ARE TRUMP AND MNUCHIN GETTING READY TO LABEL CHINA AS A CURRENCY MANUPULATOR?

By ROBERT ROMANO

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a conversation with International Monetary Fund (IMF) Director Christine LaGarde “underscored his expectation that the IMF provide frank and candid analysis of the exchange rate policies of IMF member countries,” according to a department spokesperson.

That might sound innocuous, but it could actually be the beginning of a sea shift on currency manipulation and China, which is accused of devaluing the yuan to lower the price of its exports and increase the price of imports.

Mnuchin may actually be invoking 22 U.S.C. Section 5304(b), which provides that “The Secretary of the Treasury shall analyze on an annual basis the exchange rate policies of foreign countries, in consultation with the International Monetary Fund, and consider whether countries manipulate the rate of exchange between their currency and the United States dollar for purposes of preventing effective balance of payments adjustments or gaining unfair competitive advantage in international trade.”

Note the part that states, “in consultation with the International Monetary Fund…” In his conversation with LaGarde, Mnuchin, again, “underscored his expectation that the IMF provide frank and candid analysis of the exchange rate policies of IMF member countries…”

Since said consultation is a necessary precursor to labeling any country including China a currency manipulator, the fact that Mnuchin has apparently initiated that process is telling.

The consultation may not be entirely fruitless either, for cynics who might suggest that Mnuchin is simply going through the motions of the statute. An Oct. 2015 IMF World Economic Outlook study of 60 economies including China found that “A depreciation in an economy’s currency is typically associated with lower export prices paid by foreigners and higher domestic import prices, and these price changes, in turn, lead to a rise in exports and a decline in imports. Reflecting these channels, a 10 percent real effective exchange rate depreciation implies, on average, a 1.5 percent of GDP increase in real net exports,” which much of the increase happening in the first year.

Mnuchin might want to drill down on this conclusion and see if it might result in an Article IV determination from the IMF.  Article IV of the IMF Articles of Agreement states, “each member shall… avoid manipulating exchange rates or the international monetary system in order to prevent effective balance of payments adjustment or to gain an unfair competitive advantage over other members…”

But as noted by the Congressional Research’s Jonathan E. Sanford in 2011 “Some countries claim that their exchange rate policies are not in violation of Article IV because they are not seeking to gain competitive advantage (though this may be the result of their actions) but rather to stabilize the value of their currency in order to prevent disruption to their domestic economic system. To date, the IMF has not publicly challenged this statement of their objective.”

And the IMF may never do so, lacking any sovereign means — thank goodness — of enforcing its charter.

But Mnuchin will be well within his authority to take whatever data the IMF provides, and under U.S. law, cited above, “If the Secretary considers that such manipulation is occurring with respect to countries that (1) have material global current account surpluses; and (2) have significant bilateral trade surpluses with the United States, the Secretary of the Treasury shall take action to initiate negotiations with such foreign countries on an expedited basis, in the International Monetary Fund or bilaterally, for the purpose of ensuring that such countries regularly and promptly adjust the rate of exchange between their currencies and the United States dollar to permit effective balance of payments adjustments and to eliminate the unfair advantage.”

Now, cynics may say, well, all the law allows is for negotiations to occur. If such negotiations they are not in China’s interest, why would they cooperate?

The answer could lay in another institution that both the U.S. and China participate in, the World Trade Organization, which has rules against subsidies but has not addressed currency exchange rates — yet.

But it could, if the U.S. Trade Representative indicated that if it isn’t addressed, the U.S. might withdraw under Article XV of the WTO charter, something President Donald Trump has already threatened.

On July 24, 2016, on NBC’s Meet the Press, Trump declared, “Then we’re going to renegotiate or we’re going to pull out. These trade deals are a disaster, Chuck. World Trade Organization is a disaster.”

On that count, the U.S. is under no obligation to provide other countries access to domestic markets. So, for those who argue the U.S. has no leverage is such a negotiation, the answer coming from Trump and his Treasury Secretary, Mnuchin is, think again.

Robert Romano is the senior editor of Americans for Limited Government.

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SENATE VOTED TO APPROVE SCOTT PRUITT AS HEAD OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

By LILY WILSON

On February 17, the Senate voted to approve President Trump’s nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA). After much controversy about Pruitt’s ideals, the Senate voted 52-46 giving Pruitt the lead as well as the new title of the head of the EPA.

“He’s exceptionally qualified,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “He’s dedicated to environmental protection. And, as someone with state government experience, he understands the real-world consequences of EPA actions and knows that balance is the key to making policies that are sustainable over the long-term.”

The Senate is scheduled to begin a week long recess after votes today and will return to confirm more Cabinet nominees when they return. Following todays vote will be Commerce nominee Wilbur Ross, Interior nominee Ryan ZInke, Housing and Urban Development nominee Dr. Ben Carson, and Energy nominee Rick Perry.

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ALG PRAISES CONFIRMATION OF OMB DIRECTOR MICK MULVANEY

By ROBERT ROMANO

Feb. 16, 2017, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement praising Senate confirmation of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney:

“The confirmation of Mick Mulvaney to head the Office of Management and Budget puts a critical piece of the Trump Administration in place.  The OMB is vital not only on budget related discussions like those involving Obamacare, but it also plays the pivotal role in pushing a President’s regulatory agenda.  Mulvaney will be at the center of rolling back President Obama’s crippling regulatory regime.  The unnecessary, politically driven delay in his confirmation was designed to impede this important process to end the billions of dollars of government imposed costs on building things here in America.”

To view online: http://getliberty.org/2017/02/alg-praises-confirmation-of-omb-director-mick-mulvaney/

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts.

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HOUSE BRINGS LAND USE REGULATIONS BACK TO STATE AND LOCAL LEVEL

By NATALIA CASTRO

The House’s bold use of CRA disapprovals represents their desire to undo the regulations of the Obama era and maintain their promise to constituents, a desire the Senate should be prepared to echo.

The most recently passed H.J. Res. 44 functions like most CRAs; the House expressed disapproval over an executive agency regulation and files a joint resolutions with the senate to nullify the regulation with majority vote in both houses.

H.J.Res.44 opposes a regulation constructed by the Department of Interior which provides the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) the power to establish “the procedures used to prepare, revise, or amend land use plans pursuant to the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976.”

The effort against the rule, also called Planning 2.0, has been led by the Congressional Western Caucus and Chairman Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.).

Gosar explained the imperative of removing the regulation in a Feb. 2017 press release, noting that “This new Obama rule opens the floodgates to special-interest groups by allowing them the same amount of input as those whose daily lives are impacted most by these decisions. Planning 2.0 is a significant departure from the planning process that has existed for more than three decades and allowed significant local government involvement. With the nullification of this tone-deaf regulation, state and local governments will, once again, be empowered to best manage their public lands to ensure optimal use and good stewardship.”

Vice Chairman Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Colo.) concurred, explaining that this regulation would devastate the West by silencing the farmers and western counties dependent on land use.

Republicans in the House are fighting for Americans that President Obama’s regulations have ignored for nearly a decade. With the implementation of CRA in full effect, the House is finally able to get the job done.

Using the power of the CRA, the House has also passed two other pieces of legislation disapproving of regulations the Obama Administration has imposed. H.J. Res. 57establishes requirements for how States must implement an accountability system to ensure students meet the provision in former President Barack Obama’s national education plan. Similarly, H.J. Res. 58 would nullify the rules in Obama’s education policy which require annual accountability states on how states rate teacher performance and quality.

These resolutions, also passed in the House, directly combat the inefficient and intrusive growth of the Department of Education under the Obama Administration.

Now the House has passed eight CRA measures to undo the Obama era regulatory state, meanwhile the Senate has passed two. CRA measures need to be enacted within 60 legislative days of the regulations being enacted. To keep up with the House in following through on its mission to empower states, citizens, and communities by repealing harmful regulations, the Senate will need to put in extra time, over the weekends if necessary, to get it done.

Natalia Castro is a contributing editor at Americans for Limited Government.

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SESSIONS CONFIRMED AS ATTORNEY GENERAL

By LILY WILSON

On Wednesday evening, Senator Jeff Sessions won confirmation to become the next attorney general of the United States, capping a Senate fight so contentious that one of the nominee’s biggest critics was forced by majority Republicans to sit out the last leg of the debate.The Senate narrowly approved the Alabama Republican’s nomination on a 52-47 vote, the latest in a series of confirmation votes that have been dragged out amid Democratic protests.

“We need latitude in our relationships,” Sessions said. “Denigrating people who disagree with us is not a healthy trend for our body.”

Sessions became just the sixth Cabinet nominee approved by the Senate, joining Trump’s choices for Defense, Homeland Security, Education, Transportation and State.

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9TH CIRCUIT MAY BE ABOUT TO LEGISLATE A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO IMMIGRATE TO THE U.S. HERE’S HOW TRUMP COULD STOP IT.

By ROBERT ROMANO

There is no constitutional right to immigrate to the U.S. or to be a refugee, but courts may be about to legislate one from the bench.

It is hard not to worry that such an outcome is imminent as the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals considers briefs from the Trump administration and the states of Washington and Minnesota, who are suing to overturn the temporary travel restrictions issued by President Donald Trump against seven countries that are terrorist hot spots.

For now, the court is considering whether to uphold a temporary restraining order issued by District Judge James Robart against the Trump executive order, which was only supposed to last 90 to 120 days, enjoining the administration from implementing parts of the order pending trial.

Never mind that Congress delegated to the president broad powers to suspend the normal scheme of immigration and refugee inflows into the country under statute, and that otherwise the president also has broad power under Article II in the conduct of foreign relations.

If this case was being decided on its merits, the states of Washington and Minnesota would never have been granted standing to sue on behalf of people living in foreign countries like Iraq, Syria and Iran who do not even have visas.

Yet, here we are, because this case is apparently not being decided on its merits — and it was as plain as day the moment Judge Robart issued his ruling without any legal analysis of the standing question, the most obvious weakness of the case.

And it could get worse. What if the 9th Circuit decides, with the Supreme Court composed 4-4, to quickly make a broad ruling that extends constitutional and legal protections to non-visa holders overseas for the first time in U.S. history?

Given that, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ liberal bent plus its general tendency to issue atrocious rulings, if the American people are not comfortable with that court determining for itself that everyone is allowed to immigrate to the U.S., say, as a matter 5th Amendment due process, then we might all be better off if President Donald Trump rescinded the parts of his executive order.

Although not desirable in the normal course of governing, particularly when you know you’re right, partially rescinding the order would render current cases against it moot before they ever get to proceed to their merits.

If the executive order’s controversial provisions have been rescinded, then there can be no case against it.

The travel ban was supposed to be temporary anyway. So, while Trump may have been well within his constitutional powers to issue such a ban, it is not worth losing the ability to issue such a ban for all time when conditions truly warrant it to fight an uphill legal battle. Besides,

Fighting in court for a 90-day temporary travel restriction against visa holders and a 120-day suspension of refugees for a period longer than those times makes no sense. And there is no guarantee that Judge Neil Gorsuch will have been confirmed by the Senate yet when the 9th Circuit is done. If the Supreme Court were to split 4-4, the nation would be left with whatever standard the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided on.

The 9th Circuit knows this, and if the case is decided quickly enough before Gorsuch can be seated, could inevitably confer some sort a constitutional and legal right to immigrate to the United States where none currently exists — a major legal policy goal of the hard left. That would be the worst possible outcome

That in turn could make implementing changes to the current scheme of immigration impossible not only for future presidents in exigent circumstances, as with the temporary travel restrictions, but also by Congress, which depending on how the 9th Circuit rules, may be barred from facilitating changes to immigration law that attempt to restrict immigration even from terrorist hotspots, particularly if the court makes a broad ruling on the basis of due process.

In other words, the precedent that may come out of pursuing appeals in the 9th Circuit could be broad and terrible from both a constitutional and sovereign perspective, and there may not be time for a fully constituted Supreme Court to undo the long-term damage inflicted.

If President Trump believes that the 9th Circuit is capable of legislating such an outcome, then the only responsible thing to do is to partially rescind the executive order. It may not be what the president wants to hear right now, but the writing on the wall is becoming clear.

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning blasted the development in a statement, “Our nation either has borders or it does not. The President of the U.S. is clearly authorized under the law to take actions to secure those borders against those persons who he believes may cause a threat to national security. The seven-nation pause on travel ordered by Trump to allow additional vetting of refugees and other immigrants is a basic assertion of our sovereign rights as a nation.”

Manning continued, “If the courts determine that this basic national security protection does not exist, then we might as well defund the INS and ICE, eliminate all visas and just let whoever wants to come show up at our doors. The absurdity of this case is that it turns prudent immigration policy on its head, destroying our nation’s most basic right to defend its borders.”

Again, Washington and Minnesota should have no case to bring because of a lack of standing, but here we are.

The stated purpose of the executive order was in lieu of a more permanent vetting regime being implemented. A federal case against prospective rules for vetting that have not been issued yet would be impossible to sustain, even at the 9th Circuit. That is why Robart did not enjoin implementation of the promulgation of the vetting system that the order calls for.

The easiest way past this is to drop the temporary travel restrictions. Trump doesn’t need them to get to his vetting process, and the courts may not allow them to be utilized in the 90 to 120 day windows the president established.

Theoretically, it is possible the court might ultimately separate the two issues of the suspension of new visas from immigrants who have already been issued visas, or even rule in Trump’s favor. However it is notable that Judge Robart did not do so at the outset, essentially compelling the U.S. to continue issuing new visas against the administration’s wishes. Nor has the 9th Circuit granted a stay of Robart’s decision.

Therefore, fighting this particular executive order out in court is not at all worth the risk. If the administration eventually prevails, it will get to implement a temporary travel restriction one day, probably not even this time since the practice is currently enjoined under the order. If the plaintiffs win, the 9th Circuit might issue a ruling creating precedent that obligates the U.S. to take in all-comers for all-time.

Almost nothing will be gained, and it is very possible the administration will lose the ability to later issue its new vetting policies before it ever gets to issue them. Why? The courts may create precedent that makes additional vetting yet another supposed due process violation.

On the merits, Trump was well within his rights to issue the restrictions both legally and constitutionally, and it is not his fault for acting to protect the nation, but this case is not being determined on its merits. Judge Robart issued his ruling without any legal analysis whatsoever, tipping his hand that the plaintiffs are likely to prevail in the end.

Nobody should want to find out what sort of decision is going to be made by the time the 9th Circuit gets its hands on this, potentially conferring constitutional rights on non-citizens to immigrate to the U.S. Partially rescinding the executive order and regrouping on implementing the vetting policy, either legislatively or as stipulated by the order, may be a wiser approach.

In the meantime, Congress could also examine the issue by affirming the president’s power to issue such restrictions in a wider scheme addressing immigration and refugees from the Muslim world, but in a more focused manner. That said, Congress had already registered its sense in 1952 when it delegated the power to issue such restrictions to the president.

Trump could also turn this issue into a political one rather than a legal one by asking members to vote on admitting immigrants and refugees from terrorist hot spots using the bully pulpit. Who wants to vote against sensible vetting policies? In the process, Trump could create a political consensus for his policy, which in principle should stand a better chance in court.

Trump is under no obligation to accept the battlefield he has found himself on in the 9th Circuit. The process federal courts are currently undertaking against Trump’s travel restrictions may be rigged, and Trump does not have wait around to see what happens next.

Trump can change the current stalemate by simply rendering these cases moot and partially rescinding the executive order, taking away the judicial attempt to legislate from the bench. By now, the president must anticipate that he may not prevail on the issue of temporary travel restrictions. By pursuing the appeal at this stage, then, the administration could also be risking its longer-term intended policy on vetting, particularly if the 9th Circuit produces a broader ruling contrary to U.S. security interests that sets up an impossible precedent to overcome.

In the long run, the nation’s security is going to need that additional vetting, which are more important than any temporary travel restrictions. Sadly, it might be better for the president to live to fight another day on this issue by partially rescinding the executive order at least until such time the Supreme Court is ready to hear such a case.

Robert Romano is the senior editor of Americans for Limited Government.

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WITH DEVOS CONFIRMED AS SECRETARY OF EDUCATION, THE PRESSURE IS NOW ON GOVERNOR CUOMO TO STAND UP FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS

By JORDAN WILIAMS

Today billionaire education privatization advocate Betsy DeVos was confirmed as Secretary of Education despite mass opposition for the highly unqualified candidate. Since the DeVos confirmation battle finished, the focus in New York State will now turn to Governor Cuomo’s education policy proposals contained in his budget. These proposals include repealing a $4.3 billion commitment to comply with the state constitution by funding schools fairly and a plan for massive expansion of charter schools.

“Betsy DeVos is a disastrous choice that spurred massive public resistance to her nomination. In New York State it is time for resistance to focus on Governor Cuomo who, like DeVos and Trump, is proposing massive attacks on public education. Just like DeVos and Trump, Governor Cuomo wants to cut funding commitments for our neediest students and to privatize schools,” said Zakiyah Ansari, Advocacy Director of the Alliance for Quality Education.  “Governor Cuomo wants to repeal the state’s $4.3 billion commitment to increase funding for schools that are filled with black and brown students and students in poverty. This funding is owed as a result of the landmark Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit. Just as New Yorkers have been leaders in the fight to resist Trump and dump DeVos, we will now fight back against Cuomo and his attacks on public education.”

 

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CALIFORNIA AS A SANCTUARY STATE THE NEW NULLIFICATION

By NATALIA CASTRO

The Supremacy Clause of the Constitution establishing the Constitution and all laws made pursuant to it the supreme law of the land has maintained one fact throughout all our nation’s history — laws constitutionally enacted by Congress supersede laws passed by state governments on the same subject when there is a conflict.

Andrew Jackson asserted the supremacy of federal authority to be a pillar of American identity, noting in his Dec. 10, 1832 Proclamation to the People of South Carolina, in response to South Carolina’s attempt nullify tariffs enacted by Congress, “I consider, then, the power to annul a law of the United States, assumed by one State, incompatible with the existence of the Union, contradicted expressly by the letter of the Constitution, unauthorized by its spirit, inconsistent with every principle on which It was founded, and destructive of the great object for which it was formed.”

Now, 185 years later, the state of California wants to once against attempt to violate federal authority in order to pursue its own immigration agenda — by declaring itself a sanctuary state in defiance of an executive order by President Donald Trump promising to enforce federal immigration law and defund cities. Trump recently signed an executive order calling for expedited illegal immigrant deportations and the increased apprehension of illegal immigrants to prevent crime, deputizing local municipalities to enforce immigration law, and defunding sanctuary cities.

In response, the left has gone nuts. As the Los Angeles local CBS News explained on Jan. 30, “The Senate [is] rush[ing] to enact measures that Democratic lawmakers say would protect immigrants from the crackdown that the Republican president has promised.”

California Senate President pro tempore Kevin de Leon has proposed a bill that would prevent state and local law enforcement officials from cooperating with federal investigations, including immigration violations, of any kind. This would include existing agreements by the state of California and police departments in California to submit criminal records to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) via the National Crime Information Center database. Under the California law, the state would stop interfacing with this database unless the federal government certifies that the criminal records will not be used to enforce federal immigration law.

As the proposal states, “State and local law enforcement agencies and school police and security departments shall not… [m]ake agency or department databases, including databases maintained for the agency or department by private vendors, or the information therein other than information regarding an individual’s citizenship or immigration status, available to anyone or any entity for the purpose of immigration enforcement. Any agreements in existence on the date that this chapter becomes operative that conflict with the terms of this paragraph are terminated on that date. A person or entity provided access to agency or department databases shall certify in writing that the database will not be used for the purposes prohibited by this section.”

It’s the new nullification.

There’s only one problem. If that law was followed by the FBI, where it agreed not to use California criminal records submitted to the agency to enforce federal immigration law, it would be violating federal law, 18 U.S. Code Section 1505, blocking any person from obstructing federal investigations of federal offenses, that is, anyone who “influences, obstructs, or impedes or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper administration of the law under which any pending proceeding is being had before any department or agency of the United States…” which is punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

And, to the extent the law would prevent local authorities from notifying federal law enforcement of the presence of known illegal immigrants, it would also violate federal law, 8 U.S. Code Section 1373, which clearly states, “Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal, State, or local law, a Federal, State, or local government entity or official may not prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.”

In short California is attempting to nullify federal immigration law, and threatening to pull out of the FBI’s National Crime Information Center database — which state and local police departments voluntarily submit criminal records to and assist in automatically alerting federal officials when individuals wanted for federal crimes are booked — all to obstruct President Donald Trump’s intention to enforce federal immigration law.

California’s blatant disregard for federal authority threatens the safety of all of California’s citizens — and the American people. If California pulls out of federal criminal records databases, it could become a haven for international terrorists planning to carry out attacks in the U.S.

The Supreme Court has ruled strictly and consistently based on the constitution that the federal government’s authority to preempt state law. The Preemption Doctrine is drawn from the Supremacy Clause of the constitution which states that the, “This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof any thing in the Constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.” California’s proposed law withholding immigration information from federal authorities, and obstructing federal law enforcement, could very well be construed as a constitutional violation.

In New York Cent R. Co v. Winfield when state authority challenged federal interstate commerce law in 1917, the Supreme Court definitively ruled that “It also is settled that when Congress acts upon the subject all state laws covering the same field are necessarily superseded by reason of the supremacy of the national authority.”

Federal law has been made clear and California has no grounds to revert it, the Supreme Court has been steady in this decision.

Almost 50 years after the precedent was set, in the 1956 Supreme Court case Pennsylvania v. Nelson, the courts ruled once again that where federal law was clearly sufficient, there should be no conflicting state law. The decision reads, “[t]he scheme of federal regulation [is] so pervasive as to make reasonable the inference that Congress left no room for the States to supplement it.”

California’s bill is an attempt to nullify federal law because the state has decided it does not want to enforce it. Unfortunately, as Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning reminds, “California’s legislative proposal would turn state Governor Jerry Brown into the new John C. Calhoun,” referencing Calhoun’s failed attempt to allow South Carolina to evade tariff law in the 1830s.

Just as with South Carolina nearly two hundred years ago, when federal government has control over a policy, states cannot simply decide to disagree and enforce their own law.

Ironically, in 2012 in Arizona et al v. United States, the Supreme Court reminded states that the federal government is the sole authority on immigration law and cannot be nullified. The decision was clear, “The Federal Government’s broad, undoubted power over immigration and alien status rests, in part, on its constitutional power to ‘establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization,’ and on its inherent sovereign power to control and conduct foreign relations…state laws are preempted when they conflict with federal law, including when they stand ‘as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes and objectives of Congress.'”

California is advocating the suspension of information critical for the federal governments mission to secure our borders and expedite illegal immigrant deportation. The bill itself states, “The Attorney General, within three months after the effective date of the act that added this section, in consultation with the appropriate stakeholders, shall publish model policies limiting immigration enforcement to the fullest extent possible consistent with federal and state law at public schools, health facilities operated by the state or a political subdivision of the state, courthouses, and shelters, to ensure that they remain safe and accessible to all California residents, regardless of immigration status.”

California’s policy crates a direct obstacle to the accomplishment of Trump’s immigration plan and will threaten the safety and accessibility of public places for the citizens the state swears to protect.

Had San Francisco not been acting as a sanctuary city in this way, Francisco Sanchez would not have been able to murder Kate Steinle. The San Francisco Gate reports in July 2015 just following the incident, “The man arrested on suspicion of murder in the shooting death of Kate Steinle on San Francisco’s Pier 14 Wednesday has a rap sheet with seven felonies, was deported five times, and in March was released from San Francisco Jail, despite immigration authorities asking that he be kept in custody.”

By cutting off state and local police from cooperating with federal authorities, it becomes more difficult for federal agencies to protect citizens — and people will die. Blocking criminal record sharing information regarding illegal immigrants will enable the commission of serious commit crimes, use government assistance, and in this trying time, possibly bring international terrorism into our borders with no protection to American citizens.

President Trump’s executive order has rightly attempted to combat the growth of sanctuary cities by preventing them from receiving any federal grants. Yet California is pursuing this legislation anyway. Not only is California risking immeasurable harm to its citizens lives, but the state is also risking financial devastation, as the state risks losing $135 million in federal grant money.

The California legislature is not thinking about the lives of its people or the security of its economy. With its nullification of federal immigration law, it is attempting to undercut the rule of law — and putting our entire nation at a greater risk in the process.

Natalia Castro is a contributing editor at Americans for Limited Government.

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Neil_Gorsuch_10th_Circuit

PRESIDENT TRUMP’S SUPREME COURT NOMINATION

By JORDAN WILIAMS

On January 31, President Donald J. Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit to fill the existing vacancy on the Supreme Court of the United States. Gorsuch is a 49-year-old federal appellate judge from Colorado and gives Trump as well as the Republican party a chance to cement a conservative direction for the first time in decades.

“Millions of voters said this was the single most important issue for them when they voted for me for president,” Trump said. “I am a man of my word. Today I am keeping another promise to the American people by nominating Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.”

However, many people are unhappy with Trump because he ignored former president Barack Obama’s nomination, Judge Merrick Garland, but the current president feels that his choice is the best for the nation. After only operating with eight justices since last February, Trump believes that Gorsuch instills the proper ideals and education to fulfill this high position to his best ability.

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