Halloween was an enormous success.
Normally it would be Constitution Thursday, we spent all of Monday discussing the President’s threat(?) to end Birthright Citizenship via Executive Order. There continue to be arguments and Social Media posts, and they will continue long after this has been forgotten as yet another unfulfilled political promise.
Let me be clear – whether I agree with the concept of “Birthright Citizenship” or not, is not relevant. The ONLY question on the table today is whether or not I accept that the Executive, be it Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, can change one hundred and twenty years of accepted Constitutional interpretation with an Executive Order or not. Secondary to that is my concern that if one accepts that he or she can, do you really want – do you really believe that the Framers meant – to have a country where that can happen?
A trend I have picked up upon among younger Jews after Pittsburgh is that they are frightened to publically demonstrate their faith. Older folks have recognized the need to openly demonstrate the faith. Chabad has called for thousands of Mezuzah’s to be placed on our doorposts. The fear is nothing new, nor is the hatred that leads to the fear. But the one thing we cannot do is hide. As the lessons in my favorite book in the Tanach, we cannot think that we will be safe by remaining silent…
The President has informed us that he is “considering” an Executive Order to end “Birthright Citizenship” in the United States.
Whether you believe that to be wrong or right says more about you and your politics than it does anything else.
The truth is that there is significant debate as to whether or not it should be a thing in the first place. There are also precedents extending far further back than a mere hundred years that make it clear that the Framers might not have seen things the same way as President Trump.
In fact, at one point in this country, the Supreme Court made it clear that the idea that just because you were born here makes you a citizen was not acceptable or Constitutional…
After recent school shootings, the proposal was made to raise the age for purchasing guns to twenty-one. In at least two cases, challenges were filed and in at least one of those, the challenge was upheld as the practice was seen as being in violation of equal protection and various State laws.
So now we move to the state of Louisiana. The Legislature there, deeply concerned about the well-being of young and vulnerable women who dance with exposed breasts and/or buttocks for money from patrons who must remain at least three feet away, must be twenty-one years of age in order to do so.
Naturally, the dancers who performed with exposed breasts and/or buttocks and who were under 21 sued in Federal Court. They are claiming that the law would violate their constitutional right to dance with breasts and/or buttocks exposed for money from patrons who must be at least three feet away.
Now look, there are a whole lot of issues here that we could get into, and perhaps we will tomorrow. But for now, the question is simply this: does a law restricting the right to dance with breasts and/or buttocks exposed to twenty-one and older meet muster Constitutionally? It’s not quite as clear-cut as you might think, and it’s what we talk about today on Constitution Thursday…