Virtue signalling in the age of Trump

As libertarians, we have always supported open borders as a matter of principle, but we are somewhat amused though not surprised by all the virtue signalling and moral grandstanding being displayed by our academic colleagues against Trump’s new immigration policy. (Here are just two egregious examples of such virtue signalling/moral grandstanding: this moralizing screed by Kevin Bryan, and Tyler Cowen’s patronizing reminder that the President is “executor of the Constitution.”) The problem with such critiques of Trump’s coldhearted immigration policy is that Article II of the Constitution confers on the President the plenary power to conduct foreign affairs, including the power to decide who is allowed into our country. Arguably, it is the ex parte issuance of nationwide injunctions by district judges that is in violation of the Constitution.

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Credit: The Spectator

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6 Responses to Virtue signalling in the age of Trump

  1. CHC says:

    The Declaration of Independence is our founding document. You appeal to technicalities of the Constitution to justify blantant violations of the spirit of The Declaration of Independence. Good luck with that. It’s a lawyer move, and we all know where the Clintons got with that.

    • Fair enough, but the Declaration has no real legal force and contains blatant nonsense that the Founding Fathers did not really believe in, such as the ideal that all men (presumably this includes slaves as well as slave owners) are created equal! (This is a big problem for legal scholars and judges who say they are “originalists.”)

    • ARTHUR says:

      CHC, I am curious what you feel the Declaration of Independence has to say about a temporary restriction on the issuance of visas to foreign nationals from Countries that the the Obama administration deemed particularly likely to harbor ISIS affiliated terrorists. I just re-read through it (thanks, it had been a while) and it seemed to me to be pretty silent on issues of travel, visa issuance and immigration, and was really just a list of grievances against the crown combined with a, wait for it, declaration of independence.

      The Constitution is our governing document, and just as Obama had the power to halt visa issuance to Iraqis for 6 months (without a peep from the ACLU or media), Trump has the power to issue this ban. I don’t blame the judges for issuing their temporary injunctions, as the risk of irreparable harm is high, but I expect they will be lifted soon. The only real bad actor in all of this is the AAG who ordered the DOJ not to defend an a lawful EO from the sitting president. If she didn’t like the order she should have quit.

      • As a further aside, I would also emphasize the impropriety of lower-court federal judges purporting to issue nationwide injunctions on an ex parte basis, i.e. without affording the executive branch officials an opportunity to defend themselves in court.

  2. ARTHUR says:

    Enrique, great post. Like you, I am against the substance of the order (I could be okay with some modifications), but I have taken great delight in pointing out the hypocrisy of so many who are so forcefully attacking it. They have either failed to read the order itself, and the underlying law behind (the INA), or they are intentionally misrepresenting its contents in order to foment hatred, fear and division.

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