A Declaration of Independence
Guest Editorial | 5/18/2017, 12:28 p.m.
Declaring independence from the policies and practices of President Trump
Drafted by Norman Siegel and others and signed onto by more than 900 individuals across America. Originally published at www.declaration17.com, February 23, 2017, and updated periodically.
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary and appropriate for the People to dissociate themselves from the policies and practices of the president, they should publicly state the reasons that impel them to declare their opposition.
We hold these truths to be self-evident. That all persons are created equal. That they possess certain unalienable and natural rights; that among these rights are life, freedom, justice, liberty, equality, fairness and opportunity. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted. That the president and the administration are bound to protect, preserve and defend these rights, deriving their powers from the consent of the governed, the Constitution, Declaration of Independence and the laws of the nation. That when, as now, the policies and practices of the president and the administration become destructive of these truths, it is the right of the people to declare their independence from the policies and practices of the president and the administration.
When the president implements and/or advocates policies and practices inconsistent with the Constitution, the rule of law and fundamental American values, it is incumbent upon the people to speak out and to take action, individually and collectively, to oppose, challenge and resist, where necessary and appropriate.
Such has been the case of President Donald J. Trump and his administration since his inauguration January 20, 2017.
The grievances listed below—actions taken by President Trump and his administration—raise serious legal and constitutional issues or undermine American values:
He signed the executive order entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” The EO, among other actions, temporarily suspends the operation of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program and indefinitely bans the entry of Syrian refugees; temporarily suspends entry of all persons from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen; and institutes exceptions and preferences for refugees who are members of a religious minority and claim religious persecution.
Numerous legal cases alleging such challenges to this EO were brought in federal courts around the country. In the days after the EO, at least seven federal district courts temporarily halted the implementation of the EO, in whole or in part, although one of the courts denied a motion to extend a temporary restraining order.
In State of Washington v. Trump, Judge James L. Robart granted a TRO February 3, 2017. February 9, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied the government’s emergency motion for a stay pending appeal of the TRO issued by Judge Robart. February 16, 2017, the government filed a brief with the Ninth Circuit stating, “Rather than continue this litigation, the president intends in the near future to rescind the order and replace it with a new, substantially revised executive order.”
He signed the EO entitled “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States.” The EO targets “sanctuary” jurisdictions, stating that it is the policy of the executive branch to “[e]nsure that jurisdictions that fail to comply with applicable federal law do not receive federal funds, except as mandated by law” and “as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes[.]” Funding conditions not germane to the purpose of the funds raise a serious 10th Amendment constitutional question.