Monday, January 30, 2017

The Customs and Border Protection Agency is Acting Contrary to the Rule of Law

It scares me that so many people feel that they can rely on our institutions to save us from unlawful governmental action. That only works if we have the rule of law. That means that our government, and our security forces need to acknowledge the law as supreme authority. The Customs and Border Protection, in refusing to obey the court's instructions to halt portions of Trump's immigration orders, is showing that there are armed portions of our security forces that are not obeying the rule of law.  The CBP is the largest law enforcement agency in the Department of Homeland Security, and it is now acting on the whim of the President.
Our system works because we are a society of laws. Those laws require people to believe in and obey the laws. There are not enough police in the world to force everybody to behave all the time. Society works because we work it. Society relies on people believing that it will work. We have rules in civil discourse that support having a functional society. Some of these are simple things like not calling people who disagree with you stupid, or not responding to people's fears with "suck it up buttercup." Some of those things are less mundane, like not shooting up mosques or even blind-siding Nazis (I'm not saying that punching Nazis is bad, but it contributes to the erosion of our society's ability to function). And some of these, like being able to trust that our governmental agencies will act in support of, and in defense of, our Constitution and system of laws, are absolutely fundamental to the survival of our union.
When the Department of Homeland Sescurity operates as a force working on the orders of one man in contravention of court rulings we have a clear violation of the rule of law and our Constitution's system of checks and balances.