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Trashing the Constitution Again ^ | June 13, 2019 | Judge Andrew Napolitano

Posted on 06/13/2019 6:04:09 AM PDT by Kaslin

While the eyes of the political and media classes were on President Donald Trump as he commemorated the 75th anniversary of D-Day in the United Kingdom and in France last week, and then as we all watched for progress in the tariff war Trump started with Mexico, the Department of Justice was quietly trying to persuade a federal judge in Chicago to abandon first principles with respect to citizenship and sentencing.

The DOJ filed a motion asking a federal judge to strip the American citizenship of one Iyman Faris. Faris, who was born in Pakistan, has been a naturalized American citizen since 1994. In 2001, he pleaded guilty to conspiring to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge and was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison. His fellow "conspirators" were FBI agents pretending to be foreign and domestic terrorists willing to work with him.

In other words, there was no real conspiracy. Yet federal prosecutors persuaded Faris and his lawyers that if the surveillance tapes the FBI made of Faris were shown to a jury, they would likely help produce a guilty verdict.

Faris' case was one of many in the months immediately following the tragedy of 9/11 in which federal agents found vulnerable loners in the United States with Middle Eastern-sounding last names and seduced them into nonexistent plots. Stated differently, the feds created false crimes and then solved them.

If you believe -- as Anglo-American jurisprudence taught for 600 years -- that crime is harm, then Faris, who caused no harm, is no criminal. He is the victim of similar FBI tactics as those used on candidate Trump in 2015 and 2016.

If you believe that articulating thoughts about committing a crime, thoughts generated by FBI agents who tricked him into believing that they shared those thoughts -- as modern-day Anglo-American jurisprudence teaches is criminal -- then Faris is guilty of conspiracy to commit acts of terror.

I have argued for years that the government ought not to be in the business of creating crime just to get those it hates and fears off the street. My argument has occasionally received some resonance, but the government continues on this perilous path. Nevertheless, 18 years after Faris' guilty plea, we are beyond the issue of whether Faris is actually guilty of a crime. We are now confronted with the unthinkable issue of whether he can be punished for a crime that has not yet occurred.

Faris' 20-year sentence is now nearly complete, since today one ordinarily serves 85% of one's incarceration in the federal system. Yet the same feds who concocted his so-called crime have now argued to a federal judge that Faris should be stripped of his American citizenship and deported or -- worse yet -- kept in prison indefinitely, even though he will soon have served his full sentence.

Can the government get away with this?

The short answer: No. The longer answer is that the Trump DOJ, which should be wary of the dangers of false crimes and cutting constitutional corners, has abandoned its professed fidelity to first principles.

What are those principles? This is virgin and dangerous ground that the Trump administration seeks to walk upon. Under current law, one can only lose naturalized citizenship by either the voluntary, knowing, explicit and intentional renunciation of it or by the government proving the existence of knowing and intentional fraud perpetrated upon the government in order to obtain the citizenship.

These naturalized citizenship first principles were reinforced by the Supreme Court as recently as 2017, in a case the feds chose not to address when they made their application for stripping Faris of his citizenship or holding him beyond the duration of his sentence.

There is simply no statute that permits the removal of citizenship out of fear of future harm or for behavior that occurred after the citizenship was granted, and the DOJ knows that. Nor is there any statute that permits incarceration beyond the time sentenced once the sentence has been served. Congress could certainly provide by statute for the removal of citizenship and deportation of foreign-born persons convicted of certain crimes, but such provisions could only apply to crimes committed after Congress expressly provided for the punishments as penalties upon conviction.

As well, the government cannot ask a judge to enhance the penalty for a crime after the crime was committed, without violating due process. And the executive branch cannot on its own constitutionally enhance or threaten to enhance a penalty at any time or for any reason.

Under the doctrine of the separation of powers -- which is integral to the Constitution -- only Congress can prescribe penalties for violations of federal law, not the executive or judicial branches.

And under basic principles of due process in America, people are not punished because of what the government fears they might do. They may only be constitutionally punished for crimes for which they have lawfully been convicted -- once real crimes, but in post-9/11 Orwellian America, regrettably, false crimes as well.

The United States was born as an act of violent political secession from Great Britain. That violence commenced in full after Thomas Jefferson articulated in the Declaration of Independence not only that our rights to due process are natural -- he called them "inalienable" -- but also that the colonists had had enough of being charged by the Crown for "pretended offenses" that were "foreign to our Constitution."

The day we move to punish people -- citizens or not -- because of what the government fears they might do is the day all liberty will be lost. And the day the government punishes not in accordance with the law is the day for abolishing the government.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: crimeandpunishment
I always say: Use your brain before opening your mouth.
1 posted on 06/13/2019 6:04:09 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

If he did that, Napolitano would never speak.

2 posted on 06/13/2019 6:07:26 AM PDT by LIConFem (I will no longer accept the things I cannot change. it's time to change the things I cannot accept.)
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To: LIConFem

Well I didn’t mean Napolitano

3 posted on 06/13/2019 6:15:09 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
I’m no fan of Napolitano, but on many of these points he is correct. I remember this case, and the prosecution revolved around a delicate issue relating to FBI surveillance without a warrant. This was legal under U.S. law because the surveillance was taking place from Pakistan.

I don’t get his opposition to deportation, though. If you are a naturalized citizen and you plead guilty to a felony that gets you 20 years in a Federal prison, it sounds like you’re a poster child for deportation.

4 posted on 06/13/2019 6:18:27 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave." -- Frederick Douglass)
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To: Kaslin; All

If a poll was ever conducted with the question “Is our two party system working” ? The response would be 90% negative. What is being employed by This so called coup d’ etat against Trump should not be viewed as against Trump but an impeachment of our constitution. .

Everything the man has attempted to get done has been blocked by a radical group composed mainly of members of the democrat party in top leadership legislative and judicial branches of government who view the constitution as an obstacle to their concepts of government intrusion on individual liberty guaranteed by it as they advance their policies.

5 posted on 06/13/2019 6:19:52 AM PDT by mosesdapoet (mosesdapoet aka L,J,Keslin posting for the record hoping some might read and pass around)
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To: Kaslin

Sorry Neopolitoto, but it has not been Trumps justice dept. until just recently. Try being honest.

6 posted on 06/13/2019 6:28:40 AM PDT by D Rider
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To: Alberta's Child

In his naturalization oath,he pledged loyalty to the United States. He lied. His only loyalty is to the Muslim “Ummah” community.

THAT is why he needs to be deported. Treason should always invalidate naturalization.

7 posted on 06/13/2019 8:09:11 AM PDT by SauronOfMordor (Socialists want YOUR wealth redistributed, never THEIRS!)
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To: mosesdapoet
Everything the man has attempted to get done has been blocked by a radical group composed mainly of members of the democrat party in top leadership legislative and judicial branches of government who view the constitution as an obstacle to their concepts of government intrusion on individual liberty guaranteed by it as they advance their policies.

This is in no way surprising, first, given Obama's statement of his belief that the Constitution of the United States is a document of "negative rights" since limits what the government can do (well duh!) and secondly, Obama's statement that he was going to fundamentally change the United States of America.

He certainly did that. He brought new, unimaginable levels of corruption into government, weaponizing every agency against unsuspecting citizens. OSHA against "True The Vote." Every government agency, including NOAA and the Department and Agriculture (320,000 rounds) and the FBI (100 million rounds of ammunition) against the Second Amendment and the civilian population, the IRS. Over and over again, I would see things that made me think that what I was reading in the newspapers was being written by George Orwell, Ayn Rand, or Joseph Heller.

Obama worked hard with Kerry and later with Clinton, in close corrdination with Putin to lay the groundwork for a world closer to that envisioned by George Soros. One where the US and the West would become a minor player, simply financing the demands coming from continental Europe.

8 posted on 06/13/2019 8:27:22 AM PDT by MarkL (Do I really look like a guy with a plan?)
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