First, congratulations to the New England Patriots on their win in the Super Bowl! Why some folk described it as “Super Bowl 51” is beyond me. It was Super Bowl LI, surely. I’m not a fan of the Falcons, but they’re from the South, New England is suspiciously full of Democrats for my liking and my team lost!
Respectful congratulations also to Her Majesty the Queen, who today (February 6th) becomes the first British Monarch to celebrate a Sapphire Jubilee. Here’s a health unto Her Majesty.
Judge Robart’s Decision
Speaking of Democrats, there seem to be a few of those on the Ninth Circuit as well. Judge James L. Robart, with the greatest of respect, does not come across as a Republican. He comes across as a nice man, again with respect, and he’s obviously not the worst lawyer on the federal bench, but his ruling in State of Washington & ors v. Donald J. Trump & ors, case # 17-CVL-00141-JLR is bound to be overturned, if not by the Court of Appeals in San Francisco, then by the Supreme Court.
I respectfully disagree with the President in relation to Judge Robart being a ‘so-called’ judge. I’ve watched the video of the hearing, helpfully posted by the District Court for the Western District of Washington on the court website. Judge Robart is a judge alright – he controls his courtroom well, with respect, and is courteous to counsel. In most cases, I suspect, his rulings are both fair and reasoned. I like him. His ‘Three Amigos’ joke was quite witty.
However, his ruling is just plain wrong, with respect. Like the Supreme Court ruling in the UK on Brexit, it’s essentially a political, not a legal judgment, wrapped up in legalese. The learned judge can hardly have been surprised at the political counter-attack. When you descend into the political arena you’re going to get incoming.
The federal government is surely right to attack the standing of the states of Washington and Minnesota to sue. What business is it of the states? Control of the entry of aliens into the United States is a federal responsibility, and nothing whatsoever to do with the states.
Microsoft, sorry Washington State, should never have brought the suit. Their ambitious Attorney-General needs to be brought into line. I think Fifth Circuit is wrong on the standing issue as well. I am hopeful that there will be a strong ruling from the Supreme Court on this. The Ninth Circuit has a terrible reputation for wacky rulings, with respect, so goodness knows what we’ll get out of San Francisco. You never know what the judges have been smoking down there, no offense intended.
Aliens outside the US can’t assert either the religious discrimination provisions of the Constitution and federal law, nor do they have a right to due process. When the Obama White House and the CIA acted to deny me a visa to travel to New York to give evidence to the New York State Supreme Court on the Obama birthplace issue in 2014, I had no redress.
Plaintiffs are on stronger ground when it comes to those inside the US affected by the President’s order, but as Judge Robart himself pointed out at Friday’s hearing, Moslems and Islam are nowhere mentioned in the order. It may be that the laudable aim of offering asylum to persecuted Christians will have to go, but the rest of the order is surely sound.
Discrimination on grounds of nationality in the context of the entry of aliens does not engage the equal rights clauses. On that issue, I entirely and respectfully agree with Michelle Bennett, who ably argued the President’s case before Judge Robart.
The MSM, as usual, are being intellectually lazy and dishonest. The President’s order is NOT limited to terrorism. The order expressly refers to the hazards posed by the admission of aliens with a propensity to engage in religious discrimination against those already in the US and homophobia.
Salafist Islam is not a religion as such – as Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders has argued in the Netherlands it is more of an ideology, hostile to the values we in the West take for granted. For Salafists, emigration to the West is a form of colonization.
Sufi Moslems are usually genuinely religious. These are the peaceful Moslems trotted out by the media. They may wear beards, but they don’t go around chopping people’s heads off. I well remember the great Bury Park Mosque battles in Luton in the 1990s. I was acting, as counsel, for a group of nice, peaceful Moslems, who were desperately trying to prevent their mosque being taken over by extremists (the extremists, who were Salafis, were trampling on the mosque’s constitution and I am a constitutional lawyer). One of my lay clients died during the battle, felled by a coronary during a particularly intense exchange in the mosque at Friday prayers.
I suspect many Sufis in the States would support President Trump’s order. They know how dangerous Salafists can be.
Which Way Will The Supremes Go?
These cases are bound to hit the Supreme Court. As I pointed out last week, temporary restraining orders have a return day. The federal government did quite well on the East Coast, not so good on the West.
Much may turn on the constitution of the court when it comes to hear the appeals. If Judge Gorsuch is not confirmed by then the court will be imbalanced, not mentally of course, but in terms of having too many interventionist liberals. If the Supremes split 4:4 then the Ninth Circuit’s decision could stand, subject to arguments about compatibility with decisions from other circuits. I can see the First and Second Circuit Courts of Appeals issuing more sensible decisions, with respect, than the Ninth Circuit. They usually do.
Defiance of President Trump’s Order
Before Judge Robart’s shock order hit, Customs and Border Protection decided to defy the President. The President’s order is quite clear – all nationals of the seven unstable Moslem-majority states affected are caught, regardless of whether or not they also happened to hold the nationality of other states.
This position showed a sophisticated understanding of nationality law. On or about last Tuesday, several days before Judge Robart’s controversial order, somebody high up in CBP decided to countermand the President’s order as it applied to dual nationals and water it down. Dual nationals from the seven states were excluded provided only when they presented the passport of their other state of nationality.
That was outrageous. Effectively CBP disengaged from the federal government and decided to take their orders from someone other than the president.
One name which often comes up when the subject of countermanding orders from the lawfully-elected president is discussed is that of ex-president George Herbert Walker Bush, known affectionately to some in the Intelligence Community as ‘Der Obergrüppenführer’.
It is occasionally said against him that ‘41’s’ position is that whilst he’s still alive he’s still the president, and that no order can go out of the White House with which he does not agree. I shall let readers be the judge of that – I couldn’t possibly comment!
When the President issued his Order ‘41’ was in intensive care. Whilst it may be a coincidence, once ‘41’ was out of intensive care the federal government bifurcated, with half reporting to President Trump and half to someone else.
Whoever has been messing with the federal government may have bitten off more than they can chew. President Trump is not going to stand for anyone countermanding his lawful orders, issued in the American interest, nor should he. He showed his ability to command when he fired Sally Yates as Acting Attorney-General. This is the wretched woman, no offense intended, who decided not to do her job, as it conflicted with her frankly asinine liberal political beliefs. She was out the door almost as soon as she told the President where to take his order, and rightly so. She was also no use on my case!
Three Myths About Dual Nationals Busted
Your nationality is determined by your passport. No it isn’t. A passport is merely evidence of nationality. If you’re a Mexican seeking to enter the US on a forged US passport that doesn’t make you American. You’re still wearing a sombrero, not a six-gallon hat (or in Texas, nine gallon). If you’re an American and your passport expires your citizenship no more expires with it than you do. You’re still a US citizen. The same goes if you’re from South Dakota and have never travelled further than Bismarck. You’re citizen whether you have a passport or not.
A dual national is not a dual national if they’re travelling on another passport. Oh yes they are. A fake Iranian ‘refugee’ who makes a fraudulent claim for asylum in Britain and ends up with a British passport does not thereby cease to be an Iranian citizen if he or she elects to travel on their British passport. It makes no difference that their Iranian passport may have been disposed of before applying for asylum in order to conceal their true identity.
If you’re born in the USA you can’t hold dual nationality. Oh yes you can. If you’re an Iranian born in the States to an Iranian citizen father you acquire Iranian nationality by descent. Its called the ‘jus sanguini’. It is irrelevant that you may never have visited Iran or applied for an Iranian passport. Iranian nationality is determined by Iranian law, not US.
The White House understands dual nationality, a concept addressed in Spyhunter, a copy of which they have. The media couldn’t tell a dual national from a dual-color paint scheme on an automobile.
This Week’s Movie Review: Titanic (1953, dir. Jean Negulesco)
Recently aired again in Britain this is the least well-known of the four main movies about the loss of the White Star ocean-liner RMS Titanic in April 1912, and from memory the only one to get her name right. She was the RMS Titanic, not the SS Titanic.
Starring Clifton Webb and the great Barbara Stanwyck, with a youthful Robert Wagner and Richard Basehart, it is also the only movie about the Titanic to spot the flaw in the absurd accident theory. The least anti-British of the four it also refrains from propagating the myths that the barriers between first and third class were a White Star Line idea (they were mandated by US law for US emigrant ships) and prevented Third Class passengers from reaching the Boat Deck. (The Third Class accommodation was fore and aft the First and Second class, not below, and Third Class passengers had unimpeded access to the well-decks, from which the Boat Deck could be reached without difficulty in an emergency.)
German influence over New York banks via her control of offshore high-yield trading programs was as real in 1953 as it is today. Since Hollywood is bankrolled from New York, not LA, this meant that no studio dared tell the truth about the loss of the Titanic. James Cameron, no offense intended, wouldn’t know the truth if it bit him, but even if he did, and even if he wanted to tell it, he would not have been allowed to.
The awful truth, as revealed for the first time in Spyhunter, is that First Officer Murdoch was working, indirectly, for German Naval Intelligence and rammed the iceberg intentionally. The makers of this movie were smart enough to understand that, probably because they consulted some ancient mariners.
The producers were able to get away with hinting at the truth, beating the German censors, who of course were working behind the scenes. The movie shows the lookouts spotting the iceberg several ship lengths ahead, as they would have done and did. In the silly 1997 movie the great liner is almost upon the ‘berg before the lookouts spot it, on a bright starlit night, from a vantage point high up on the foremast, ahead of the bridge, with an unobstructed view forward.
The 1953 movie then shows Murdoch delaying his rudder orders until he is nearly on top of the ‘berg. As I explain in Spyhunter, Murdoch had sufficient warning of the obstruction and rudder power to have turned the ship around and started heading back to Southampton, never mind miss the ‘berg.
The movie is well-acted, despite the limitations of the script and bank, a.k.a. German, censorship. The scene where the band plays the hymn ‘Nearer, My God, To Thee’ still has the power to compel, more than 40 years after the movie was made.
I have no doubt, BTW, that the ship’s gallant band played the great hymn. They started out with ragtime, but as over a thousand men and women faced certain death in the icy waters of the North Atlantic, thanks to our community partner the Dastardly Hun, the band played something more fitting for the last moments of the ship and those still on board.
Michael Shrimpton was a barrister from his call to the Bar in London in 1983 until being disbarred in 2019 over a fraudulently obtained conviction. He is a specialist in National Security and Constitutional Law, Strategic Intelligence and Counter-terrorism. He is a former Adjunct Professor of Intelligence Studies at the American Military University.