PA Attorney General Charges and Arrests Test Cheaters — FL AG Bondi Missing in Action

Taking a cue from former Georgia Attorney General Mike Bowers (R) and former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue (R), Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane (D) charged and arrested a principal and four teachers for cheating on standardized tests at Cayuga Elementary School in Philadelphia over a four year period (2008-2012).

Kane said the educators changed student answers, provided test answers to students and improperly reviewed Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) test questions before giving the tests. After the cheating stopped in 2012, the schools test scored dropped dramatically, Kane noted.

In 2008-09 state proficiency tests, Cayuga’s fourth graders excelled: 88.8% pass math and 83.9% pass reading. By 2012-13, the most recent numbers available, fourth graders at the school struggled with 31% passing math and 25% passing reading.

Those charged are:

  • Evelyn Cortez, 59, Dresher, Montgomery County;
  • Jennifer Hughes, 59, Jeffersonville, Montgomery County;
  • Lorraine Vicente, 41, Philadelphia;
  • Rita Wyszynski, 65,  Philadelphia; and
  • Ary Sloane, 56,  Philadelphia.

In Georgia, numerous teachers, and principals were convicted or took plea deals and are in prison. Superintendent Beverly Hall had her plea deal rejected and awaits trial in August 2014.

Unfortunately for Florida students and taxpayers, Attorney General Pam Bondy and Governor Rick Scott took a different course of action in response to test cheating: they did absolutely nothing.

Hard evidence was sent to both of these Constitutional officers and elected officials concerning various violations concerning professional development fraud, teacher certification fraud, teacher observation and evaluation fraud, and test cheating – all of which were documented in a state report issued by the Auditor General of Florida and the Miami-Dade OIG Final Report which concluded that, “Miami Norland has benefited in the form of attaining a higher school grade and may have received financial compensation or other benefit resulting from its high pass rate on the industry certification exams” (page 13).

Katherine-Fernandez Rundle, Miami-Dade State Attorney of the 11th Judicial Circuit, did not respond nor take action on these allegations, stating she can do nothing per “local control,” and that the responsibility for investigation and resolution rests with the employee of the perpetrators – Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

After appearing before investigators with the Office of the Auditor General for the State of Florida and the Miami-Dade Office of Inspector General in April and May 2012, in which sworn statements, evidence, and produced two witnesses (teachers who corroborated the test cheating) were given, to ensure that these investigations would be acted upon by the state, the findings were sent to Governor Rick Scott for action.

Governor Scott’s Inspector General emailed a written response declining assistance for lack of jurisdiction and deferred to the Miami-Dade OIG, who declined to investigate this particular matter as the Auditor General’s Office was investigating it.

On February 6, 2013, the FLDOE OIG, sent a written response claiming “lack of primary jurisdiction.” One would think they would have a secondary jurisdiction to investigate violations of state law pertaining to test cheating and any and all related frauds (money) to protect students, teachers, and taxpayers.

Worse yet, I emailed Florida’s and Miami-Dade’s chief law enforcement officers, Attorney General Pam Bondi and Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle respectively, and the response was disappointing.

On March 8, 2013, Attorney General Bondi emailed the whistle-blower, Trevor Colestock, back basically citing lack of jurisdiction and passing the buck to the school district of all places and various local and federal agencies.

The Miami-Dade State Attorney did not respond whatsoever, though she did prosecute teachers and school administrators in the MOTET teacher certification scandal 8 years earlier.

These improprieties and related crimes (using computers to commit fraud, wire fraud, malfeasance, test cheating, and 20,000+ counts of record tampering and teacher certification fraud) were reported on by multiple media outlets. However, Governor Scott, Attorney General Bondi, FLDOE bureau chiefs and Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle appear to have a “see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil” when it comes to stopping cheating and fraud in Florida’s public schools.

Though the state has inherent police and supervisory powers to enforce and regulate its laws, Florida (unlike the States of Georgia, Texas, and Pennsylvania) has been a passive spectator concerning school districts and test cheating to the detriment of Florida students, teachers, and taxpayers.

Perhaps it is time for Governor Scott and Attorney General Bondi to stop passing the buck and stand against cheating in Florida’s public schools?

CAIR and Lawfare: An Interview with Brooke Goldstein

The month of April witnessed the Muslim Brotherhood front group, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) attacking free speech in films and in academia. CAIR, a self-styled Muslim civil rights group, grew out of a support network for Hamas, a terrorist group designated by our State Department.  It was one of several Muslim Brotherhood linked groups listed as unindicted co-conspirators in the 2007 Holy Land Foundation trial in Dallas,Texas.

CAIR and the other groups were found to have funneled tens of millions in funds  to Hamas. As the month began a CAIR spokesperson attacked the Clarion Project film, the Honor Diarieswhich portrays a group of both Muslim and non-Muslim women addressing the problems of misogyny in Muslim majority countries with honor-shame cultures. These cultures follow Islamic doctrine devaluing the rights of women, condoning child and forced marriages, female genital mutilation and violence against women including honor killings.

CAIR singled out the film’s executive producer, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, former Somali Dutch politician, now an American citizen and acclaimed author of best sellers Infidel and Nomad. Ms. Ali is a fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, a member of The Future of Diplomacy Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. As a girl she was subjected to female genital mutilation and as young woman, escaped from an arranged marriage. Ali, an apostate from Islam, was called an Islamophobe by CAIR. A term which an official of the Runnymede Trust in the UK admitted has no legal definition at a 2013 Warsaw Conference of the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe.

Brooke Goldstein, director of Manhattan-based Lawfare Project, used the bully pulpit of The Fox News program, The Kelly Files with host Megyn Kelly, to confront a CAIR spokesperson during the broadcast on the Honor Diaries controversy. She accused CAIR of engaging in stealth anti-Semitism against the leadership of the film’s sponsor, the Clarion Project because they were “Jewish.” Moreover, CAIR national spokesperson Ibrahim Hooper had demanded a retraction from Fox News program host Kelly of her comments about CAIR’s intimidation during the episode. Kelly refused.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/684u2WyNIQg[/youtube]

CAIR’s attack on the Honor Dairies led to cancellation of showings at three midwestern universities. CAIR didn’t stop with that episode. It next turned to a campaign that ultimately forced the President of Brandeis University to withdraw a commencement honorary doctorate and address by Ms. Ali. Pressure for President Lawrence’s withdrawal of Ali’s honor was exerted by the Muslim Student Association and by what many critics deemed a veritable lynch mob of 86 signatories of a letter by the members of the Near Eastern and Judaic Students faculty at Brandeis. CAIR’s Hooper attacked Ms. Ali’s anti-Islam views trumpeting Brandeis’ capitulation on a Kelley File exchange. Fox News host Megyn Kelly gave Ms. Ali an opportunity to respond to both Brandeis and Hooper on the same segment. Watch here.

As to the definition of Islamophobia, note Goldstein’s comment:

Islamophobia … is a contrived term that was invented by the Muslim Brotherhood with the sole purpose of stigmatizing those who are engaged in dialogue about militant Islam.

Watch this Fox News The Kelley Files You Tube video of the exchanges among host Megyn Kelly, CAIR Chicago representative Ms. Agnieszka Kasroluk and Brooke Goldstein of the Lawfare project on the Honor Diaries controversy:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/8KD_ym1Mb2I[/youtube]

When New York Police Commissioner William Bratton held a press conference in April and announced the disbanding of a 12 person unit to monitor Muslim communities for possible extremists, CAIR welcomed the move. CAIR New York Board Chairman, Ray Mahoney said:

CAIR-NY welcomes the closing of the NYPD Zone Assessment Unit. This is an important first step. However, the damage of unconstitutional mass spying on people solely on the basis of their religion has already been carried out and must be addressed. We need to hear from the mayor and NYPD officials that the policy itself has been ended and that the department will no longer apply mass surveillance or other forms of biased and predatory policing to any faith-based community.

We asked Brooke Goldstein of the Lawfare Project about the NYPD surveillance program, she said:

What I can say is that from my dealings with the NYPD, they were not targeting Muslims and engaging in discrimination based on race or religion. What they were doing was targeting institutions that have a connection to terrorism and those groups happen to be Islamist. … Simply because of the fact they have a theological justification has now opened up the NYPD surveillance program to accusations of so-called Islamophobia which are absolutely baseless and ridiculous.

As the month waned, there was another confrontation over a seven minute film produced by the National September 11 Memorial Museum in lower Manhattan given criticism by an interfaith panel. The New York Times noted:

The film, The Rise of Al Qaeda, refers to the terrorists as Islamists who viewed their mission as a jihad. The NBC News anchor Brian Williams, who narrates the film, speaks over images of terrorist training camps and Qaeda attacks spanning decades. Interspersed are explanations of the ideology of the terrorists, from video clips in foreign-accented English translations

The controversy was created by a review of the film by a panel from the Interfaith Center in New York led by its executive director, Rev. Chloe Breyer, an Episcopal priest and daughter of US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. She had ministered to the injured and families of survivors following 9/11. The controversy followed the comments in a letter to the Museum’s director by a panel member Sheik Mostafa Elazabawy of the Masjid Manhattan Mosque who wrote:

The screening of this film in its present state would greatly offend our local Muslim believers as well as any foreign Muslim visitor to the museum. Unsophisticated visitors who do not understand the difference between Al Qaeda and Muslims may come away with a prejudiced view of Islam, leading to antagonism and even confrontation toward Muslim believers near the site.

In a separate interview, Elazabawy was reported to have said:

Don’t tell me this is an Islamist or an Islamic group; that means they are part of us. We are all of us against that.

Megyn Kelly, host of Fox News’The Kelly Files, weighed into the controversy of the Museum 9/11 film, especially the obsessive public correctness of the Interfaith Center panel and its leader, Rev. Chloe Breyer.  Kelly, who had previously tackled the Honor Diaries  and the CAIR contretemps, brought back into the discussion Goldstein of the Lawfare Project. She ably contested the arguments by Breyer and Sheik Elazabawy of the Interfaith Center panel. The contrasts between the positions of Rev. Breyer and Goldstein were stark. Breyer supported the Interfaith panel and Elazabawy’s requests for redaction of the Museum film, while Goldstein vigorously and effectively argued that you cannot deny the truth of the extremist Islamic doctrine that motivated the 9/11 perpetrators to commit mass murder. Watch the Kelly File segment with Rev. Breyer and Ms. Goldstein, here.

Brooke Goldstein, director of The Lawfare Project is a Montreal native, graduate of McGill University and holds a JD from Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law. She is a New York City human rights lawyer.  The Lawfare Project addresses the abuses of the justice system for the express purposes of using it as the equivalent of a weapon of war. Goldstein is also the producer of the acclaimed 2006 documentary, Making of a Martyr, concerning the indoctrination of Palestinian children at UN-sponsored schools in the West Bank and Gaza. That is a mean of recruiting them as state sponsored suicide bombers and human shields. Goldstein is the founder and director of the Children’s Rights Institute(CRI), “a nonprofit organization whose mission is to track, spotlight, and legally combat violations of children’s basic human rights around the world.” She has been a frequent commentator on these topics at FoxNews, CNN and in columns of the New York Sun, New York Daily News, and Commentary among other media outlets. Goldstein was the 2007 recipient of the E. Nathaniel Gates Award for Outstanding Public Advocacy and the 2009 Inspire! Award bestowed by the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

Against this background we interviewed Ms. Goldstein.

Jerry Gordon:  Thank you for accepting our invitation for this interview.

Brooke Goldstein:  Thank you for inviting me.

Jerry Gordon:  We’re here with Ms. Brooke Goldstein, human rights attorney and Director of the Lawfare Project. Brooke, we are discussing some fairly serious invasions of free speech rights by a group called the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR). The first incident involved its accusations of “Islamophobia” against a film by the Clarion Project called Honor Diaries and its Executive Producer, Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She is a noted women’s advocate and former Muslim. Brooke, what is The Lawfare Project and its mission and range of activities?

Brooke Goldstein:  The Lawfare Project is a legal think tank that is based in New York City and we have a dual mission. The first part of our mission is to track, monitor, combat, and raise awareness about the phenomenon of lawfare—the use of the law as a weapon of war against liberal democracies as it affects free speech rights and undermines the ability of liberal democracies to engage in self-defense in the war on terrorism. The second function we perform is we arrange for pro bono counsel and financial support to anybody who is on the receiving end of a frivolous lawsuit aimed at silencing their exercise of free speech when it comes to issues of national security and public concern. Issues of public concern and national security include the imminent threat of militant Islam, and that is how we came to know CAIR. It is a particularly litigious group that has filed several lawfare lawsuits and engages in bullying tactics and intimidation against anyone brave enough to speak openly and publicly about militant Islam and CAIR’s own connections to terrorism. The type of speech lawfare proponents like CAIR aim to stife includes raising awareness about human rights violations occurring in Islamist countries, against Muslim women (and children). That is precisely what the documentary film Honor Diaries is all about, the treatment of Muslim women under Sharia law. CAIR has engaged in a variety of intimidation and bullying tactics against students and universities that are hosting screenings of Honor Diaries, which features Muslim women talking from firsthand experience about Islamist Sharia law and how it is currently applied to women both in Islamist countries and the West. The film is about incidents of female genital mutiliation (FGM), so-called “honor killings,” and child marriage, and features women with firsthand experience with Sharia law, such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who was subjected to FGM and escaped a forced marriage. CAIR has bragged about encouraging the cancellation of screenings of this film, attempting to undermine the message that Muslim women deserve human rights. At the same time, CAIR is going around demanding the 9/11 memorial museum censor the screening of a seven minute film about Al Qaeda, which it deems offensive to Muslims becaue the film describes Al Qaeda, accurately, as an Islamist jihadi terror group! CAIR has in the past refused to condemn Al Qaeda and has objected to billboards describing Al Qaeda as an enemy of the United States.

Gordon:  Is CAIR a Muslim civil rights group?

Goldstein:  CAIR often misrepresents itself as a civil rights group; it is anything but. It claims to be a self-appointed representative of the Muslim community in the United States but it really does not represent them at all. In fact, it was founded as the operational arm, the public relations arm, of the Muslim Brotherhood and of Hamas. It has ties to the designated terror group Hamas. CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas funding trial, the Holy Land Foundation case. It received seed money from Saudi Arabia and from the Holy Land Foundation (HLF). CAIR called the successful prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation for its material support for terrorism “unjust,” even though HLF was funneling money to terrorism! CAIR’s mission is basically to launch a coordinated legal and public relations campaign that punishes and demonizes speech that exposes Islamist terrorism and its sources of financing. It does so by filing frivolous lawsuits and defaming anyone brave enough to discuss the topic. It frequently stereotypes Jews. It defames the counter-terrorism community and it is engaged in abuse of the legal system as a major proponent of lawfare.

CAIR’s comprehensive ties to Islamist terrorism are numerous, information about which is widely available in print and online. The FBI’s former chief of counter-terrorism, Steven Pomerantz, described CAIR, as “effectively giving aid to international terrorist groups.” Senator Chuck Schumer has called out CAIR co-founders Nihad Awad and Omar Ahmad for having “intimate links with Hamas,” and “ties to terrorism.” According to the FBI, CAIR director, Muthanna al-Hanooti, “collected over $6 million for support of Hamas,” and was sentenced to one year in federal prison for violating U.S. sanctions against Iraq. Communications specialist and civil rights coordinator for CAIR, Randall Todd Royer, trained with Lashkar-I-Taiba, an al Qaeda-tied Kashmir organization and was sentenced to twenty years in prison after being indicted for conspiring to help al Qaeda and the Taliban kill US soldiers in Afghanistan. CAIR fundraiser Rabih Haddad was arrested and deported for working as Executive Director of the Global Relief Foundation, an organization that financed al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. Abdurahman Alamoudi, one of CAIR’s former directors, is a supporter of both Hamas and Hezbollah, and is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence for terrorism-related convictions. CAIR’s Community Affairs Director, Bassem Khafagi, who has publicly encouraged Muslims to carry out suicide bombings within the U.S., pled guilty to fraud and was deported to Egypt for facilitating the transfer of funds to terrorism. Ghassan Elashi, a founding Board member of CAIR’s Texas chapter, was convicted of providing material support to state sponsors of terrorism and knowingly doing business with Hamas, to which he illegally transferred more than $12.4 million dollars. Not surprisingly, CAIR characterized Elashi’s indictment as “a war on Islam and Muslims.”

The facts about CAIR make it all the more disturbing. Members of CAIR have been frequent guests at the State Department and White House. The group has intimidated local law enforcement to provide “sensitivity training.” CAIR has worked with the ACLU, Amnesty and the NAACP and received funding from the Tides Foundation. It  enjoys access to American public schools. It masquerades as a tax exempt “charitable” organization while enjoying regular access to media outlets. As Senator Jon Kyl aptly noted, CAIR’s Saudi backing and aggressive tactics have effectively “forced out” moderate American Muslims from public dialogue, replacing them instead with a terror-connected institution who claims to speak for them but doesn’t, and levels charges of “Islamophobia” at anyone who does.

Gordon:  What specifically did CAIR accuse the producers and several prominent Muslim and a few non-Muslim women of doing in this production?

Goldstein:  As usual, CAIR is accusing the film, the filmmakers, and the Muslim women featured in the film of being “Islamophobic.” What constitutes being Islamophobic in this case according to CAIR? Raising awareness about human rights violations against innocent Muslim women. CAIR’s opposition to the film is quite telling because it really exposes who CAIR is. CAIR has come out against a film featuring Muslim women who themselves have been victims of the most brutal form of Sharia law. They have been threatened on a daily basis with violence from radical Islamists and they’ve exposed CAIR as a group that is not interested in protecting the human rights of the Muslim community, here or abroad. CAIR wants to silence public dialogue about these issues and it has done so by leveling charges of Islamophobia and pressuring schools to cancel the movie, purposefully diverting attention away from the issue of womens rights to the film being “anti-Muslim.” By the way, the term “Islamophobia” was invented in the ’90s by the Muslim Brotherhood. It is the same term the Iranians use to stigmatize anyone who talks about the militant Islamist nature of the Iranian regime. It is the same term the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a 57-member voting bloc at the United Nations, uses when it co-opts the Human Rights Council to pass, every year for the past twelve plus years, resolutions declare criticism of Islam a crime in international law. It is a term that is merely used to silence and to stereotype anyone who speaks about human rights violations in the Muslim world and the threat of Islamist terrorism. CAIR regularly accuses the American people of being anti-Muslim. They play this victim card but what they are trying to do is intimidate Americans into silence. In 2010, CAIR even established its own “Islamophobia Department” whose sole purpose is to attack our First Amendment free speech rights. They successfully managed to get screenings of Honor Diaries at University of Michigan (Ann Arbor and Dearborn campuses) and the University of Illinois cancelled. They have filed complaints with the FEC and they have filed numerous lawsuits—against members of Congress, the FBI, film producers, activists—all in attempts to raise the price of free speech in this country. That is exactly why we have set up The Lawfare Project, so that American people know that if they are on the receiving end of these types of intimidation tactics or do find themselves the victim of a frivolous lawsuit alleging defamation for speaking the truth about issues of national security, that we will help them. We will help them find pro bono counsel and financial support so they can continue with their important work, writing and talking about these issues publicly.

Gordon:  You were on several segments of Megyn Kelly’s program on FOX News, The Kelly File, about this problem that erupted over the documentary Honor Diaries. In one instance you had a CAIR spokesperson contesting you on a panel. What were the points in contention and what was the demand on the part of their national spokesperson, Ibrahim Hooper, that lead to contretemps?

Goldstein:  CAIR realized very quickly that attacking a film that highlights abuses against Muslim women is a losing position to take when it comes to public relations. Therefore, it quickly decided that it was going to start a character assassination campaign against the filmmakers and the women in the film, and it started to attack the Clarion Fund for employing Jews (!!), and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, calling her a bigot. Ayaan Hirsi Ali herself is a victim of Sharia law, female genital mutilation, and forced marriage. CAIR called the producers that she worked with “Islamophobes” and engaged in a disgusting attack of anti-Semitism against the film’s producers by tweeting an article from a lunatic blogger claiming that Jews behind the film are only producing this film because they’re engaged in a plot to defame Islam. CAIR suggested that there was no way Jewish producers could possibly make a movie that aims to protect the human rights of Muslim women. Of course, CAIR’s assertion is absolutely absurd and goes counter to any notion of interfaith dialogue that CAIR claims to champion. What CAIR is trying to do with Ayaan is engage in a smear campaign against her and other Muslim women, further victimizing them; it’s shameful. Frankly, If CAIR comes out against a film, you should take it as a cue to go see it, because obviously there is truth contained therein and it’s a truth that terror-connection CAIR doesn’t want us to talk about publicly. The goal of this Muslim Brotherhood organization, which has tax-exempt status in the United States, is to make the price of dialogue about these issues so high that we can’t talk about them. To shame students and schools into not teaching about human rights abuses against women, if it makes Islam look bad. Because they know, that when we can’t talk about Islamist terrorism, we can’t understand Islamist terrorism, and if we can’t understand it we can’t defeat it, so that’s CAIR’s ultimate goal.

Gordon:  Ayaan Hirsi Ali was attacked by CAIR recently when Brandeis University had announced that it was going to confer an honorary doctorate on her at the May commencement. That led to a firestorm of criticism of the University’s President Frederick Lawrence and essentially his withdrawal of that award and honor. What did that illustrate about the banning of free speech in academia?

Goldstein:  It was a cowardly move. It is a hypocritical move on behalf of Brandeis and they should be ashamed of themselves. Brandeis has hosted anti-Semites, from Desmond Tutu to Max Blumenthal, it accommodates the dishonest Israeli Apartheid Week, but it shies away from honoring a black woman whose mere testimony of abuse inspires rage from a terror-linked organization.

CAIR by accusing Ayaan of being “Islamophobic” and engaging in a character defamation campaign, is attempting to distract us from the horrific treatment of women under Sharia law. Here in the West we have seen victims of so-called honor violence. CAIR wants to deflect the audiences’ attention away from this pressing issue and attack the people who are telling the truth because CAIR does not want America to know what the truth is. They don’t want Americans to know that innocent Muslim women are being victimized. CAIR thinks it can go around and play “Islamic speech police,” but this isn’t Saudi Arabia. CAIR has no authority to censor what Americans can and cannot see. Americans have every right to see this film, and hear Ayaan’s story and the stories of the myriad of Muslim women in the film. We cherish our free speech in this country; we cherish our women, and we don’t punish dialogue about how theology is used to justify the murder of women. One is free to engage in truthful dialogue no matter how offensive it is, to any religion, and especially when it concerns saving lives.

And we must remember that it was not the filmmakers who brought Islam into the conversation about womens rights; it is those who commit crimes against women, children, and other innocents in the name of Islam that have tarnished the theology. It is those who engage in female genital mutilation and who murder women in the name of Islam who have brought the religion into the dialogue and that’s exactly what this film is about. Talking about these things openly, regardless of whether people may find it offensive, takes courage and, anyway, who do you think are the type of people who find a movie about human rights violation offensive? Should we even care that we are offending these types of people? Those who support and who feel that these human rights violations are justified are the ones who are offended by such a film! CAIR puts itself in that camp and this terror-connected organization has no right to intimidate American students in American schools into cancelling screenings for American audiences.

Gordon:  CAIR has also been engaged in attacking the American law for American courts legislation that has been passed in several states and is pending here in Florida. CAIR calls this “bullying legislation” when in fact all it does is affirm the constitutional rights of citizens against intrusion of foreign laws in certain cases. What is behind CAIR’s accusations against these legislative proposals?

Goldstein:  CAIR often accuses Americans of doing what CAIR is guilty of. CAIR’s goal is to undermine the human rights afforded by the U.S. Constitution. You merely have to look to Omar Ahmad, co-founder of CAIR who himself has ties to Hamas, who famously said, “Islam is to be the dominant authority in America. It is to replace the current government.” CAIR does not believe in upholding the U.S. Constitution. CAIR has come out against legislation that reaffirms the Constitution as the supreme law of this land in Kansas and Florida. CAIR has also refused to blame Osama Bin Laden for the terrorist attacks on 9/11. It protested a billboard that depicted Osama Bin Laden as an enemy of the United States. It has justified acts of terrorism and, at the same time, it makes false claims that Muslims are being targeted unconstitutionally. In 2002, it claimed falsely that thousands of Muslims were being rounded up, detained, and have disappeared in this country, which is simply untrue. CAIR spews lies, engages in intimidation, and attempts to mislead the public that terrorists like Osama Bin Laden are not the real threat to America but the U.S. Constitution is. The fact that CAIR enjoys IRS-approved 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status while it actively opposes the U.S. Constitution is outrageous

Gordon:  In 2008 in Fairfax County, Virginia, we were involved with the intimidation of a local police officer who detained a Muslim physician on his way to services at Dar Al-Hijrah, an infamous mosque where the late Anwar al-Awlaki was a preacher. The police department and the officer were intimidated to agree to a request by CAIR National to undergo “diversity training.” That lead to development of national legislation, introduced in 2009 and subsequently based on a theme from the New York Police Department’s “See Something, Say Something” subway campaign. That legislation has been stalled for nearly five years. Why is that?

Goldstein:  We have an environment in the current State Department and the current administration that seems to hold those who accuse law enforcement agencies of Islamophobia in a higher regard than those who are in law enforcement who are attempting to protect us from Islamist terrorism. We saw this starting back in December 2011 when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had a three day closed door meeting with the head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and came out announcing that we were co-signing Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18 with the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt, and working with the OIC to implement that resolution within our borders. The resolution itself condemned the use of the media to criticize religion and it was the latest in a series of Resolutions that the Human Rights Council has passed attempting to ban, not just criticism of Islam or writings of Islam, but also thinking thoughts and the ideas that are deemed to be offensive to muslims. What followed? The State Department began redacting anything offensive to muslims from the Department of Defense Counter-Terrorism Manuals, the words Islam and Jihad were wiped out. FBI officials who were deemed “Islamophobic” got fired. The Fort Hood massacre was reclassified as workplace violence, as opposed to theologically motivated terrorism (note Major Nidal Hasan screamed “Allah Akbar” meaning “Allah is great” before he opened fire). A few months before that, Hasan had written an essay arguing for the painful liquidation of non-Muslims.

There is a complete and intentional denial within this administration of the threat of theologically motivated terrorism and groups like CAIR have manufactured this so called “war on Islam” in our counter-terrorism efforts. Thus, our law enforcement is simply not able to do its job. CAIR took it one step further when it brought a class action lawsuit with the ACLU in 2011 against the FBI, alleging illegal surveillance of the Muslim community in southern California. At the same time, CAIR San Francisco was working actively to hamper federal investigations into terrorism by printing and publicly distributing fliers and posters warning Muslims to “build a wall of resistance” and not talk to the FBI. The federal district court judge dismissed the class action suit and held that allowing the case to proceed would risk the disclosure of government secrets.

Gordon:  In February this year in a Newark federal district court, a decision was handed down against a Muslim legal advocacy group regarding intrusive community profiling in New Jersey by the New York Police Department. That case was considered to be fairly significant, particularly in light of the attempt on the part of other police forces and the U.S. Department of Justice to prevent such activities. Do you think that decision will stand or do you think it will be overturned?

Goldstein:  What I can say is that, from my dealings with the NYPD, they are not targeting Muslims and engaging in discrimination based on race or religion. What they are doing is targeting institutions that have a connection to global organized terrorism and, in this day and age, the majority of groups being targeted are Islamist due to the fact that there are a lot of Islamist terror networks that have penetrated the USA. The fact that organizations under surveillance are run by Muslims has nothing to do with the reason they are being surveilled by the NYPD. They are being surveilled because the police want to stop acts of murder regardless of what theological justification these groups have. The mere existence of this theological justification, that has been declared by the terrorists themselves, has now opened up the NYPD surveillance program to accusations of so-called Islamophobia, which are baseless.

Gordon:  There has been a development recently concerning the abduction and removal of American children by Saudi fathers to Saudi Arabia against their will. This matter was in fact a subject of series of hearings by former Republican U.S. Representative Dan Burton of the Government and Reform Committee back in 2002. We recently interviewed two victims, a mother who lost her daughter at the age of five and a young woman in southern Florida who had been abducted by her Saudi father at age 11 and subjected to physical and mental abuse while in Saudi Arabia, but was rescued through her family’s resources. The penalties involved do not seem to be material to prevent the abduction of these children under Sharia by their foreign Muslim fathers. What do you believe can be done about it?

Goldstein:  I think that we need to support law enforcement, as they apply the law equally to all children and women regardless of their race, their national origin, their ethnicity, or their religion. Children are innocent. I did a movie about the abuse of children by Islamist terrorists called The Making of a Martyr where I exposed the illegal indoctrination and recruitment of innocent Palestinian children to become suicide-homicide bombers and how they are used as human shields by terrorist groups like Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas. I pointed out that, despite the fact that this crime is widespread, it is ongoing and occurring out in the open, no human rights group—from Amnesty International to Human Rights Watch—has consistently and coherently condemned this practice as a form of child abuse. In 2004, when I started filming my movie, the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers actually came out with a report denying that Palestinian terrorist groups recruit children for armed activities. This was a slap in the face to these children who are being abused and who deserve protection, and this is what I call the real Islamophobia. It amounts to turning a blind eye, by the human rights community and by politicians, to the plight of Muslim women and children, basically sending a green light to radical Islamists to abuse them. Such a blind eye sends the message: Go ahead, continue abusing Muslim children and women with impunity, we don’t care, they don’t deserve human rights. That is the real Islamophobia  Being irrationally scared of advocating for Muslim women’s equal rights. The real Islamophobes think we will not raise awareness about this issue because we are too afraid to do so. We are too politically correct and we are afraid of being called “anti-Muslim” even when the charge is ridiculous on its face. When New York Congressman Peter King held his radicalization hearings and put Somali Americans on the stand—who testified with tears in their eyes about how their Somali American relatives and children were being practically kidnapped by Al-Shabaab, flown across the border, and trained as Mujahideen abroad—Rep. King was called an Islamophobe for advocating that the human rights of the Somali American community be protected. When ABC Family Channel recently announced a series, Alice in Arabia, about an American who was kidnapped and taken to Saudi Arabia, CAIR bullied and intimidated ABC into dropping the series. We have Hezbollah’s Al Manar TV network and Hamas’s Al Aqsa TV, both run by designated terrorist groups that engage in the recruitment of Muslim children and target Muslim women under very brutal interpretations of Sharia law. Both networks, Al Aqsa and Al Manar, are unlawfully being broadcast within the United States by corporations like NileSat IPTV, based in New Jersey, and by ArabTV4All, based in California. They air daily sermons from radical Islamists and cartoons and television programs that teach children to engage in violent activities. They are airing such jihadi recruitment propaganda in this country, illegally, and nothing is being done about it. We are complicit by turning a blind eye to these issues because we are allowing this to continue within our borders without a real coordinated law enforcement response and, when law enforcement does respond, they are crippled by political correctness.

Gordon:  There have been indications in Congress about the possibility of legislation that might designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group here. Normally, that is done by our State Department. What is behind that movement and how realistic is it to see this eventuate in the form of legislation?

Goldstein:  I think it is a long overdue recognition that the Muslim Brotherhood is the mother of all terrorist organizations and is active and operating within our borders to our detriment. There has been significant push-back from the Justice Department in exposing these issues. Texas Representative Louie Gohmert has been trying to get the documents about CAIR, which is the Muslim Brotherhood affiliated public relations front here in the United States. Gohmert has tried unsuccessfully for three years to get the Department of Justice to release the files on CAIR from the Holy Land Foundation Trial. We are receiving a clear message from the State Department , the Justice Department, and the Administration that not only are they simply not willing to expose these issues and to work with Congress but also they’re working with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Gordon:  One of the more troubling developments has been the complicit activities of certain Jewish defense groups in bolstering the positions of certain Muslim advocacy groups, allegedly on the grounds of free speech and free worship. What is your response to that?

Goldstein:  Groups that come out and are complicit in these false accusation of Islamophobia are either intentionally attempting to stifle public dialogue, or are unintentionally being misled to believe that there is a campaign against Muslims in this country. I think this is completely inaccurate. Islamophobia, as we mentioned before, is a contrived term that was invented by the Muslim Brotherhood with the sole purpose of stigmatizing those who are engaged in dialogue about militant Islam. If you look at the people who have been accused of Islamophobia, these are very well respected counter-terrorism experts and there is no utility whatsoever in calling people names and trying to intimidate people into silence. The United States thrives on open dialogue and debate about issues that affect our society. The role of Islam and Sharia law in honor killings and female genital mutilation, the threat of militant Islam, the sources of financing for Islamist terrorist groups, these are all very real issues that have to be hashed out through public awareness and debate. There is absolutely no utility in attempting to intimidate those who are engaging in this dialogue by calling names. That’s not how adults who are concerned about the safety of American citizens behave.

Gordon:  Brooke Goldstein, I want to thank you for this engrossing and comprehensive discussion about an important topic that the U.S. needs to address. We thank you.

Goldstein:  Thank you. I also want to mention a book that came out by Citizens for National Security. It is called the Council of American Islamic Relations: Its Use of Lawfare and IntimidationIt contains examples of attempts by CAIR to bully and sue Americans and U.S. law enforcement into silence. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to study CAIR’s role in undermining the First Amendment right of free speech and our national security. The Lawfare Project also published a book entitled Lawfare: The War Against Free Speech. It is a guide for any American who wants a primer on what their free speech rights are in this country, what the First Amendment protects, what is considered defamation, and how to protect yourself against a lawfare lawsuit. Your readers should feel free to contact The Lawfare Project if they are being intimidated. You can visit our website at www.thelawfareproject.org. Thank you so much Jerry for giving this issue the attention it deserves. We appreciate it.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review. Also see Jerry Gordon’s collection of interviews, The West Speaks.

Miami-Dade: Student, Not Teachers, Feels Heavy Hand of Justice

In Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS), there exists a double standard by the school system and its police department when dispensing justice between students and teachers.

For evidence of this, examine the circumstances between a student, Jose Bautista, an 18 year old senior at Dr. Michael Krop Senior High School, and Mr. Emmanuel Fleurantin and Mrs. Brenda Muchnick, two teachers at Miami Norland Senior High School. Each did something terribly wrong, each was treated very differently.

The question: Has justice been served?

According to a local news report, Mr. Bautista, was arrested and charged with eight felonies counts for allegedly obtaining the principal’s network password and offering to change grades for four students for an unknown sum of money. He was on track to graduate with his class at the end of May. On Friday, May 2nd, a judge set Bautista’s bond at $20,000 and ordered him to be placed under house arrest with a GPS monitor. He has since been released from jail.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools released a statement saying, “The school district takes incidents like this very seriously.  In addition to the arrest and ongoing criminal investigation, the Code of Student Conduct provides for corrective strategies up to and including recommendation for expulsion.”

It is unclear if Bautista will be allowed to graduate.

During the 2011-2012 school year, Mr. Fleurantin and Mrs. Muchnick gave the answers to standardized tests, industry certification exams, to a large number of students. Seventeen students confessed to this, some saying whole classes received the answers.

The Miami-Dade OIG Final Report concluded that, “Miami Norland has benefited in the form of attaining a higher school grade and may have received financial compensation or other benefit resulting from its high pass rate on the industry certification exams” (page 13).

With the assistance of cheating, undertaken by Mr. Emmanuel Fleurantin and Mrs. Brenda Muchnick, Miami Norland’s school grade went from a “C” for the 2010-11 school year to an “A” for the 2011-12 school year.

As a result, total federal funds (SIG, RTTT) given out due to a grade influenced by cheating was $100,560; the total state funds per FSRP was between $130,000- $140,000; the total overall combined federal and state incentive funds were $230,560- $240,560.

Each teacher at Miami Norland Senior High School received $1730.41 from all three payouts.

On October 16, 2013, the Miami-Dade School Board voted to terminate Mr. Emmanuel Fleurantin for his role in what has become known as Adobegate.

On November 19, 2013, the Miami-Dade School Board voted to suspend Mrs. Brenda Muchnick for 30 working days without pay for her role in Adobegate.

Mr. Fleurantin is still awaiting the results from his Department of Administrative Hearings case, and Mrs. Muchnick served her inconsequential 30 day suspension without pay and has been back to work at Norland Since January 8, 2014, whereas the whistle-blower, Trevor Colestock, was illegally removed from Norland and has yet to be returned.

Mr. Fleurantin and Mrs. Muchnick were both investigated by M-DCPS and Schools Police, but unlike the student Jose Bautista, both were not charged, handcuffed, or appeared before a judge.

How does Bautista, a student who did something juvenile yet serious, gets charged, cuffed, goes before a judge, has a $20,000 bond, confined to home with a GPS monitor, local media scrutiny, and now has a felony record for the rest of his days, but yet two teachers who should have known better were never charged, cuffed, appeared in court despite unduly influencing the school grade and caused, or attempted to cause, an erroneous $250,000 payout of state and federal incentive funds?

Fleurantin and Muchnick engaged in far more serious crimes than Bautista: multiple potential counts of using a computer to commit and perpetrate a fraud, wire fraud, defrauding (or attempting to defraud) an out of state corporation (Certiport, the test vendor), and defrauding (or attempting to defraud) the State of Florida and the federal government and the taxpayers thereof.

Perhaps Fleurantin and Muchnick got off easy because they were doing what they were told and/or their actions benefited the school district and school/district administrators across the board in terms of recognition, promotion, and pay, and Bautista gets the heavy hand of justice because his actions only benefited himself and not M-DCPS whatsoever.

RELATED STORY: Teacher caught on video manhandling kindergartner will make your blood boil

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is courtesy of the Miami-Dade Sheriff’s office.

Does a Benghazi Select Committee Matter? by Amy Payne

House Republicans are moving to set up a select committee to investigate the Benghazi attacks. The House could vote this week on establishing the panel, which House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has said would be led by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), a former federal prosecutor.

Helle Dale, a Heritage expert who has followed the Benghazi scandal closely, said this “could be a giant step toward unraveling the real story behind the Benghazi attack, which cost four brave Americans their lives, and the cover-up that has denied Americans the truth.”

See four essential questions the Benghazi select committee should tackle

What is a select committee, and is this move useful? The Foundry asked Heritage legal expert Hans von Spakovsky.

The Foundry: What is a congressional select committee?

Hans von Spakovsky: Select committees can be set up to perform a particular function, often to perform a specific investigation. They are usually created by a resolution that specifies the duties and powers of the select committee, including when its authority will expire. Such committees are particularly useful when jurisdiction over a particular subject is shared by several regular committees, which can lead to confusion and conflicting actions.

Who sets it up, and what jurisdiction/authority does it have?

In this case, Speaker John Boehner has announced his intention to set up the committee and appoint Rep. Trey Gowdy as its head. The House still has to vote to establish the committee. The resolution setting it up (which hasn’t been released yet) will establish its jurisdiction, but in general, select committees can subpoena and depose witnesses, call them to public hearings, and hire lawyers to work as special investigators.

How does a select committee differ from appointing a special counsel to investigate something?

Only the Attorney General can appoint a special counsel to investigate a matter. For example, House Republicans are also talking about asking for a special counsel to look into the IRS’s targeting of conservative nonprofits. The chances of Eric Holder granting that are just about nil.

Does it have the power to punish people?

If, for example, they decided to vote someone in contempt of Congress—for failing to appear or provide testimony—the full House would have to approve that. If Congress had to enforce a contempt citation in federal court, a judge could order the witness who is in contempt to provide testimony, and if the witness doesn’t, the judge could impose jail time or a civil fine. You know, it probably hasn’t been done since the 1800s, but the House does have the power to seize someone who is in contempt of the House. The sergeant-at-arms can seize someone and put them in a jail cell in the House.

What kind of results have select committees produced in the past?

One of the most well-known select committees was the Church Committee chaired by Senator Frank Church (D-Idaho) in 1975 that investigated intelligence gathering by the CIA, NSA and FBI. Its findings led to new laws imposing restrictions on how we gather intelligence, which some believe are at least partly responsible for the intelligence failures related to the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

So are select committees focused on producing new laws?

On Benghazi, I think this committee would be driving toward finding out exactly what happened; why the security of the consulate in Benghazi was so inadequate; what failures there were at the State Department and potentially the Pentagon for not being able to respond once the attack started; and coming up with recommendations to prevent anything like this from happening again. In addition to legislative recommendations, they could make recommendations for disciplining or terminating employees if they find wrongful behavior.

It’s been some time since the Benghazi attack on Sept. 11, 2012. Is it helpful to start the investigation now?

A select committee would not have to start from scratch; it would have the benefit of all of the information uncovered to date by the committees in the House of Representatives that have been investigating these matters. But this committee would have the advantage of a single-minded focus on the issue—including dedicated staff—as compared to the regular House committees that have numerous other responsibilities and duties in many different areas.

I had thought this would have happened sooner, but thank goodness it’s finally happening.

Is this just for show, or will it have substance to it?

I think it will have substance to it. And it’s important because four Americans were killed, and it looks like they were needlessly killed—that if the right security steps were taken, they would not have died. I think this is very important for the future safety of American diplomatic personnel.

Remembering Benghazi: A Timeline in Photos

RELATED STORY: Poll: 72% want the truth about Benghazi

Florida: Court collision pushing Pinellas Term Limits case toward Supreme Court

Crash!

The April 16 decision by the Florida 2nd District Court of Appeals excusing Pinellas County from enforcing its voter-approved 8-year county commission term limits law collided head on with a 2011 decision from the 4th DCA which required that they be enforced. Indeed, after the Florida Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the 4th DCA decision, every county in Florida is enforcing their county term limits except Pinellas.

Why is Pinellas so special?  In its April 16 decision, the 2nd DCA did  not answer that question. In fact, its only response was: “Affirmed.” No explanation was given at all!

That won’t do. It is pretty clear this case must be settled in the Florida Supreme Court as the conflict between the two decisions are so stark.  Must counties enforce their voter-approved charter amendments or not?

It is an important question that affects all 20 of Florida’s charter — or ‘home rule’ — counties, not just the 12 whose voters have opted to impose term limits on their county politicians.

On this basis, the Pinellas citizens who have been defending the Pinellas term limits law in court have filed for a rehearing, requesting the court revisit its decision or at least provide an explanation that they can bring to the Supreme Court.

It is difficult to see what the defense the county politicians have. The case set out in the good guys’ Motion for Clarification appears incontrovertible:

  1. Voters overwhelmingly approved 8-year term limits on county commissioners and constitutional officers in 1996.
  2. In Cook (2002),  the Florida Supreme Court (in a split decision) struck down the term limits on constitutional officers, but did not address county commission term limits.
  3. The Pinellas charter’s severability clause (7.01) clearly provides that if one section of the charter is found unconstitutional, others survive.
  4. As an example of this under Florida law, Florida voters approved in 1992 term limits on both federal Congress members and state legislators. When the U.S. Supreme Court shot down Congressional term limits in U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton (1995), the Congressional term limits were nullified but — per Florida’s Ray v. Mortham (1999) — the state legislative term limits still stand.
  5. In 2011-12, the 4th DCA and then the Florida Supreme Court both unanimously affirmed the constitutionality of county commission term limits and also reversed their earlier decision regarding constitutional officer term limits as well.
  6. All Florida county term limits on the books today have been ruled constitutional and are being enforced, except in Pinellas County. There is no reason why Pinellas should be treated differently.

Due to the conflict between the DCAs, appellants Maria Scruggs and H. Patrick Wheeler argue the 2nd DCA owes the public — and the Supremes — an explanation. If we get one, it will be due to the hard work and personal sacrifice of these two individuals.

Florida’s In-State Tuition for Illegal Aliens Violates Federal Law

While I am a strong believer in states rights under the 10th Amendment, I also believe that states should follow existing federal laws. Following and enforcing immigration laws, for example, has been the rallying cry for Republicans and some Democrats. If Florida is harmed by  an immigration law then Governor Scott should work with the state congressional delegation to alter or abolish the law. The Florida legislature should not pass and Governor Scott sign a law that violates federal immigration law.

Case in point is the Florida legislature passing HB 851 giving illegal aliens in-state college tuition. This effort has been fully embraced by Governor Rick Scott, former Governors Jeb Bush and Bob Martinez  in the name of “lowering the cost of tuition for all Florida students.” The problem is HB 851 violates federal immigration law and requires Florida to provide the same in-state college tuition rate to all citizens of the United States.

According to  Hans A. von Spakovsky and Charles D. Stimson giving in-state college tuition to illegal aliens violates federal law. The following is the full text of their November 2011 column titled “Providing In-State Tuition for Illegal Aliens: A Violation of Federal Law“:

Federal law prohibits state colleges and universities from providing in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens “on the basis of residence within the State”—unless the same in-state rates are offered to all citizens of the United States. Today, 12 states are circumventing this federal law, and the legal arguments offered to justify such actions are untenable, no matter what other policy arguments are offered in their defense. Because at least one federal court of appeals has held that there is no private right of action under the specific statute in question—§ 1623 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996—the U.S. Department of Justice must enforce this statutory provision against states that have violated federal law. Yet even as it sues states like Arizona and Alabama for trying to assist the enforcement of federal immigration law, the U.S. government refuses to sue states that are incontrovertibly and brazenly violating an unambiguous federal immigration law. Such inaction is unacceptable: The President and the Attorney General have an obligation to enforce every provision of the United State’s comprehensive federal immigration regulations—including the federal law prohibiting state colleges and universities from providing in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens “on the basis of residence within the State.”

In 1996, Congress passed—and President Bill Clinton signed into law—the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA).[i] Section 1623 of this federal statute prohibits state colleges and universities from providing in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens “on the basis of residence within the State” unless the same in-state rates are offered to all citizens of the United States.[ii] Today, 12 states[iii] allow individuals who are in the United States illegally to pay the same in-state tuition rates as legal residents of the states[iv]—without providing the same rates to others. By circumventing the requirements of § 1623 these states are violating federal law, and the legal arguments offered to justify such actions are untenable, no matter what other policy arguments are offered in their defense.

A Nation of Laws, Not of Men

The United States is a country of immigrants—men and women who sought opportunity and freedom in an exceptional new land. Americans take pride in their heritage and this country’s generous policies regarding legal immigration. Yet, as citizens of a sovereign nation, Americans retain the right to decide who can and cannot enter this country—and what terms immigrants and visitors must accept as a condition of residing in the United States. As mandated by the U.S. Constitution, Congress sets America’s immigration policy. State officials have considerable influence in Congress over the crafting of immigration laws, and they may take steps to help enforce federal law.[v] However, state officials cannot act contrary to a congressional statute.

America is a “nation of laws, not of men,” and thus her citizens must abide by the rule of law. But even if the operation of the rule of law was not imbedded in the U.S. Constitution and legal system, every generation of Americans should re-affirm its virtue and security. These concepts, ancient as they are, and quaint as they may sound to some, provide the bedrock principles of this nation’s constitutional republic. To abandon them in individual cases—where, for example, it seems opportunistic or personally appealing—is to render them unavailable in the preservation of all other rights.

The Constitution, the States, and Immigration

Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4 of the United States Constitution provides that Congress has the power to “establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization.” Over the decades, Congress has done just that, imposing a variety of conditions on those who wish to immigrate (e.g., such individuals must do so openly and in accordance with established legal process) and on those who might be visiting (e.g., such individuals must not overstay their authorized visit).

Unambiguous federal law regarding who may receive the benefit of in-state college tuition is part of these conditions. Specifically, § 1623 of IIRIRA provides that

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an alien who is not lawfully present in the United States shall not be eligible on the basis of residence within a State (or a political subdivision) for any postsecondary education benefit unless a citizen or national of the United States is eligible for such a benefit (in no less an amount, duration, and scope) without regard to whether the citizens or national is such a resident.[vi]

Thus, it is obvious that Congress meant to prohibit state colleges and universities from offering in-state tuition to illegal aliens unless the state institutions also offer in-state tuition to all students, regardless of whether they live in the state or in another state. Congress may have assumed that state colleges and universities would not be able to “afford” offering in-state rates to everyone because these schools rely on the higher tuition from out-of-state students to help subsidize public colleges, and thus they would not offer in-state rates to illegal aliens.[vii] But the law itself provides a choice and only requires states to treat out-of-state citizens and illegal aliens equally.

IIRIRA, once signed into law by President Clinton, should have settled this issue. But some states have continued to offer lower tuition to illegal aliens without offering the same to all students—a direct violation of federal law. Specifically, 12 states have circumvented the express language and clear intent of the statute by erecting proxy legal justifications for offering in-state tuition to illegal aliens. These states have asserted these legal arguments in courts and forced others to waste time and resources in litigation to try to enforce federal law. Such state policies not only violate federal law; they also:

  • Encourage illegal immigration;
  • Are fundamentally unfair to students from out-of-state who are U.S. citizens; and
  • Force taxpayers to subsidize the education of illegal aliens.

Beyond these immediate concerns, there is another, larger issue at stake: the federal government’s preeminent power to regulate immigration. The Supreme Court has held that the “[p]ower to regulate immigration is unquestionably exclusively a federal power.”[viii] However, not every state action “which in any way deals with aliens is a regulation of immigration and thus per se pre-empted by this constitutional power, whether latent or exercised.”[ix] In order for a state statute affecting immigrants (legal or illegal) to be valid, it cannot be expressly preempted by federal immigration law and must “not otherwise conflict with federal law.”[x]

State laws that provide in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens are both expressly preempted by, and in conflict with, § 1623—unless the state also provides in-state tuition rates to all other American students regardless of their state of residence. However, none of the states that provide in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens have changed their state laws to provide such tuition rates to out-of-state students who are U.S. citizens.

Circumventing Federal Law 101

To avoid IIRIRA’s mandate that in-state tuition be determined “on the basis of residence within a State,” some state lawmakers have created alternative criteria through which students might qualify for in-state tuition. Such alternative criteria are intended to act as a substitute for actual residence, which, in turn, creates the patina of compliance with the federal statute: Since residence is not at issue, there is, so these states argue, no conflict between federal and state law. In reality, however, the states are targeting illegal aliens for in-state tuition.

Maryland’s Senate Bill 167, which was signed into law by Governor Martin O’Malley (D), is a typical example of such chicanery. This bill exempts individuals, including “undocumented immigrants,” from paying out-of-state tuition if the person attended a secondary school in the state for at least three years, graduated or received a GED in the state, proves that he or his parents have filed Maryland income tax returns annually for the three years the student attended school in Maryland, and states that they will file an application to become a permanent resident.[xi]

Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler provided a dubious legal opinion regarding Senate Bill 167 to Gov. O’Malley on May 9, 2011. Gansler concluded that federal law (in particular, 8 U.S.C. § 1623(a)) does not preempt Senate Bill 167. The opinion suggests that Senate Bill 167 is not subject to the preemptive effect of § 1623(a) because the former “looks to factors such as time of attendance in Maryland schools and graduation from Maryland schools to define an exemption from nonresident tuition” [xii] and not residence. There are at least two problems with that legal analysis.

First, federal law permits a state to grant in-state college tuition to an illegal alien only if the state affords the same benefit to non-Maryland residents. The purpose of that law is to allow a state to treat illegal aliens like nonresidents for college tuition purposes: If the state does not charge more to the latter than to in-state students, then it may charge the same amount to illegal aliens (who, in an abstract sense, are akin to non-Marylanders). But Maryland’s law does not use that formula; Gansler claims that the bill does not require “residence” in Maryland to attend college and receive in-state tuition since it looks to “time of attendance” in Maryland high schools.

However, the regulations of the Maryland Board of Education authorize local schools to require “proof of the residency of the child” for admission into public schools for kindergarten through high school.[xiii] In fact, the Web site for the Prince George’s County Public Schools says that “proof of residence shall be a prerequisite of admission to the public schools” and parents and guardians who are registering their children for school the first time must file an “Affidavit of Disclosure as required by law, verifying their legal residence in Maryland.”[xiv] Montgomery County also tells parents enrolling their children for the first time that “all students…must provide verification of age, identity, residency, and immunizations.”[xv]As the state’s attorney general, Gansler has constructive knowledge of this residency requirement. The fact that he ignores it throws into question the premise on which his entire legal opinion rests.

No one who lives in, and went to high school in, for example, Wyoming, could satisfy the eligibility requirements of Senate Bill 167; the new law does not apply to non-Marylanders. As such, because the Maryland bill does not put non-Maryland residents on a par with Marylanders, the bill cannot give illegal aliens a break on state tuition.

Second, Gansler’s letter states that “the entire purpose of the bill is to design a law that will enable the State to continue to provide services to young undocumented aliens.”[xvi] The purpose of the bill, therefore, is to achieve the result that Congress outlawed in 8 U.S.C. § 1623(a)—granting in-state college tuition to illegal aliens without also granting that benefit to non-Maryland residents.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly struck down state legislation enacted to evade federal statutory or constitutional requirements. Indeed, the Court has rejected such legislation even when state lawmakers do not reference a suspect or disfavored classification:

The states have no power, by taxation or otherwise, to retard, impede, burden, or in any manner control, the operations of the constitutional laws enacted by Congress to carry into execution the powers vested in the general government.[xvii]

For example, in 2000, the Court struck down a Hawaiian statute that limited voting in certain elections to individual descendants of those who lived in Hawaii prior to 1778.[xviii] The statute’s eligibility requirements made no mention of race but were an obvious pretext for Polynesian heritage.

These state statutes that are intended to provide in-state tuition to illegal aliens are similar pretextual attempts to evade the federal immigration statute.

The Martinez Legal Fig Leaf

The few federal cases on this issue filed by citizen university students and their parents against such state laws have not reached the substantive merits of the preemption issue because the courts have held that individuals do not have standing to sue under this statutory federal provision.

For example, in Day v Bond, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the lawsuit brought by nonresident citizen university students and their parents against the state of Kansas. Section 1623 does not create a private right of action and the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring an equal protection claim.[xix] The court held that the injuries claimed by the plaintiffs failed to satisfy “the requisite standing criteria.” These injuries included:

  1. The denial of equal treatment caused by the Kansas law that made it impossible for nonresident U.S. citizens to obtain the same in-state benefits;
  2. The increased tuition faced by the plaintiffs since the burden of subsidizing illegal alien beneficiaries is passed along to other students through tuition hikes;
  3. The harm that results from competition for scarce tuition resources; and
  4. The extra tuition paid by nonresident plaintiffs during the academic year over the in-state tuition paid by nonresident illegal aliens, as a consequence of the discriminatory law.

On the other hand, illegal aliens who have sued states for denying admission to post-secondary institutions as a violation of their constitutional rights have had their lawsuits thrown out on the merits. InEqual Access Education v. Merten,[xx] a Virginia federal district court held that, although illegal aliens had standing to bring suit, Virginia was under no obligation to allow illegal aliens to attend Virginia colleges and universities. Virginia’s law was not preempted by federal law and did not violate due process: “It defies logic to conclude that…Congress left states powerless to deny admission to illegal aliens.”[xxi] The court concluded that the “persuasive inference to draw from § 1623 is that public post-secondary institutions need not admit illegal aliens at all, but if they do, these aliens cannot receive in-state tuition unless out-of-state United States citizens receive this benefit.”[xxii]

As the National Conference of State Legislatures notes in a report on in-state tuition for illegal aliens, in order to try and “maneuver around the [§ 1623] requirements, the eleven states that have enacted laws granting in-state tuition rates to undocumented students have tried to word the legislation so that it is contingent on high school attendance and graduation, and not based on residency within the state.”[xxiii]But Texas bases its definition of residency for college admission on an individual (or his parent) establishing domicile in Texas not later than one year before the academic term in which the student is enrolled in college or graduating from a Texas high school who “maintained a residence” continuously for three years before graduation.[xxiv] Similarly, California bases residency on high school attendance in California for three or more years and graduation from a California high school.[xxv]

The California Supreme Court bought into this legally questionable argument in Martinez v. Regents of the University of California.[xxvi] The court recognized that the question of federal preemption of California’s residency law depended on whether the three-year high school attendance requirement is an “exemption based on residence within California.” However, the court held that the requirement that a student attend a California high school for three years and graduate was not a residency requirement. It overturned the California Court of Appeals, which had come to the legally straightforward conclusion that the California law was intended to benefit illegal aliens living in the state and the “wording of the California statute…creates a de facto residence requirement.”[xxvii] The court of appeals did not consider it relevant that the eligibility criteria did not correlate 100 percent with residency.

The California Supreme Court made the illogical claim that because § 1623 is not an “absolute ban” on illegal aliens receiving such tuition benefits, that section of federal law is not in accord with the expressed intention of Congress in its immigration legislation to “remove the incentive for illegal immigration provided by the availability of public benefits.”[xxviii] The court also ignored the fact that the state had adopted the law specifically to benefit illegal aliens living in California and that the overwhelming majority of those who qualified for the benefit were only illegal aliens.

While this legally erroneous decision may be the law in California (at least for the time being), it is not the law anywhere else in the country. Although the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition of certiorari filed by the plaintiffs, it is black letter law that such a denial has no precedential effect whatsoever;[xxix]this issue has not yet been decided on the merits by any federal court.

And yet, offending states continue to ignore the clear language provided by a federal court in the Mertendecision, and instead rely on the preferred outcome found in a state supreme court ruling—a shortsighted and legally specious approach to governing.

Unwise Public Policy

Giving illegal aliens a financial break at state colleges and universities is not only illegal; it is also immensely unpopular with American taxpayers. An August 2011 Rasmussen poll found that 81 percent of voters oppose providing in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens. Seventy-two (72) percent of voters believe parents should be required to prove their legal residency when registering their children for public school.[xxx]

These results, however, should hardly come as a surprise: In 2005, it was estimated that the cost to taxpayers of providing in-state tuition in California was between $222.6 million and $289.3 million, while the cost to Texas taxpayers was between $80.2 million and $104.4 million.[xxxi]

Granting financial preference to illegal aliens also discriminates against otherwise qualified citizen students from outside the state. Furthermore, states that offer in-state tuition to illegal aliens act as a magnet for more illegal aliens to come to the state. Arguments to the contrary are unpersuasive, and not supported by the facts.

An Obligation to Enforce Federal Law

States that offer in-state tuition for illegal aliens are in violation of federal law. In doing so, these states are also acting against the will of the American people.

The applicable statute and the case law are clear: If there is no private right of action under § 1623, the U.S. Department of Justice must enforce this statutory provision against states that have violated federal law. Yet even as it sues states like Arizona and Alabama for trying to assist the enforcement of federal immigration law, the U.S. government refuses to sue states that are incontrovertibly and brazenly violating an unambiguous federal immigration law.

The President and the Attorney General have an obligation to enforce the provisions of the United States’ comprehensive federal immigration regulations—including the federal law prohibiting state colleges and universities from providing in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens “on the basis of residence within the State.”

ABOUT HANS A VON SPAKOVSKY AND CHARLES D. STIMSON

Hans A. von Spakovsky and Charles D. Stimson are both Senior Legal Fellows in the Center for Legal & Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation;  von Spakovsky served as Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the Justice Department (2002–2005) and Stimson was a federal prosecutor and later Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (2006–2007).

Florida Legislature Passes Two Landmark Bills: Textbooks and American Laws for American Courts

Senator Hays

Florida Senator Alan Hays.

After four years of trying in the face of misinformed opposition, an amended version of American Law for American Courts (ALAC) SB 386 passed the Florida Legislature this week.  The Senate sponsor of SB 386, Senator Alan Hays, Republican of Umatilla, said on Monday, April 28th when the Senate voted to pass the measure by 24 Republicans to 14 Democrats:

I am delighted that my colleagues in the Florida Senate passed SB 386 – The Application of Foreign Law in Certain Cases -this morning.

It is my fervent desire to make sure everyone in a Florida courtroom is  protected from the imposition of any foreign law that may diminish the rights of that person which are afforded by our US and Florida Constitutions.  This bill codifies case law to offer those protections and is a welcome addition to the statutes of our state.

I sincerely appreciate the efforts of many others who assisted in the passage of this landmark legislation.

Fl. Rep. Mike Hill

Florida Rep. Mike Hill

House Rep. Mike Hill, Republican from Pensacola, a member of the Subcommittee on Civil Justice, following   House approval on April 30th of HB 903 by 78 Republicans to 40 Democrats, said:

I am honored to join my colleagues and vote ‘yes’ on the bill that passed the Florida House today codifying that American law only will be used in Florida courts.  It is our duty to do so as I took an oath to protect the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Florida.

The Amended version of SB 386 was adopted to overwhelm five Amendments put up by opposition minority Democrats prior to the floor debate that began last Friday, April 25th.The compromise reached was to take up an Amendment formerly offered and waived by Republican Senator David Simmons of Altamonte Springs in previous House and Senate Committee hearings. The Simmons Amendment would codify Florida case law. However, it would assist in addressing Sharia compliant parental abduction in violation of Florida, US and international law.Given Florida legislative procedures, the House passed the Senate version.Now the measure awaits enactment into law upon review by Florida Governor Rick Scott.

Rabbi Jonathan H. Hausman small

Rabbi Jonathan Hausman

Rabbi Jonathan Hausman and I were in the Florida House Public Gallery on Tuesday, April 29th witnessing the floor debate with questions from opposition Democrats to House bill sponsor Rep. Neil Combee.   Misinformed, they persisted in asking why the measure was necessary and alleged conflicts over recognition of Israeli rabbinic divorce decrees and business contracts.Rep. Combee cited both lower court and appellate level cases in which foreign law had been recognized that did not comply with the comity principles under Florida practice as justification for passing the measure.

The alleged problems cited by Democrat members of the Florida House; i.e., non-recognition of Israeli family court decisions had been investigated and found misleading. That effort was based on published research by Professor Daphna Hackner, a Tel Aviv University Family law expert and arguments presented in a video and letter to Florida legislators by Rabbi Hausman, a member of two state bars and expert in both Jewish Halacha and Islamic Sharia.

Prior to the Senate and House deliberations on SB 386/HB 903 we suggested to the bill sponsors that the Amended version be reviewed by Stephen M. Gelé, Esq. of the New Orleans law firm of Smith Fawer LLC.  Today, despite his being on vacation, Gelé sent his assessment on the legislation that we received via Christopher Holton of ACT!  Gelé said:

The Florida Legislature recently passed SB 386, a bill that will help protect Floridians from foreign law that is inconsistent with American values, such as Islamic Sharia law.  When hopefully signed into law by Governor Scott, the bill will: help protect Florida parents who face loss of their children to a foreign custody judgment; help protect spouses who face unfair foreign judgments of divorce, spousal support, or marital property distributions; help protect parents and spouses from marital contracts (including Islamic marital contracts often named mahrs) that would force decisions regarding child custody, spousal support and marital property distributions to be decided in foreign courts or under foreign law in American courts; and, help protect parents and spouses from having disputes regarding child custody, spousal support and marital property distributions from being dismissed by Florida courts in favor being decided in  foreign courts.

Although American and Florida courts have held in the past that foreign law should not be applied when the foreign law offends public policy, this concept has not previously been strengthened by statute. Further, under current Florida child custody statutes a judge can refuse to enforce a foreign custody judgment only “if the child custody law of a foreign country violates fundamental principles of human rights.”  Unfortunately, statements by the U.S. State Department suggest that “fundamental principles of human rights” should be interpreted more narrowly than most Americans would interpret the phrase.  However, SB 386 allows a Florida judge to refuse to enforce a foreign custody judgment under the much broader standard of whether the judgment offends the public policy of Florida.

Therefore, the most important effect of the change in the law would be to protect parents from losing their children to foreign custody decrees, which has happened before.

Margaret McLain

Prof. Margaret McLain

Gele’s comments are reflective of a new theme adopted based on the recommendation by Kansas House Speaker Pro TemporeRep. Peg Mast. Mast successfully secured bi-partisan support for passage of ALAC in the 2012 session in Topeka. She suggested emphasizing protection of “fundamental Constitutional rights” for Florida women and children. That meant putting a human face to the theme of the foreign law war on women and children. This was reflected in New English Review  interviews with two women.

One interview was with retired Arkansas State University Professor Margaret McClain. She spoke in Tallahassee on March 13, 2014 to a group of citizen lobbyists about the abduction and removal of her five  year old daughter Heidi to Saudi Arabia by her Saudi ex-husband in violation of state, federal and international law, but condoned under Sharia

Yasmeen A_ Davis  NER interview 3-17-14

Yasmeen A. Davis

Then there was the interview with Floridian Yasmeen A. Davis who told about her abduction by her Saudi father at age 11 and her treatment under Sharia in his home in Saudi Arabia until rescued by her family at age 13.  Now 28 she still suffers PTSD from the episode.

One of the premiere groups in providing ground forces to obtain commitments for the legislation is the Christian Family Coalition (CFC) of Florida led by its highly effective executive director, Anthony Verdugo. CFC has more than 5,000 members and supporters working with over 1,000 Churches in the state. CFC demonstrated its prowess by supporting social issue legislation that passed the Florida legislature and a bi-partisan Support for Israel resolution in 2012.  CFC made the legislation a priority for passage in 2014 and held several training sessions with members to equip them with FAQs documents and arguments as to why the bills should be passed countering the misinformation of opponents.  On March 13, 2014  following talks by both Senator Hays and Professor McClain at the CFC’s Annual Leadership Prayer Breakfast in Tallahassee, 75 citizen-lobbyists fanned out buttonholing Senators and Representatives presenting the rationale behind  the CFC legislative priorities.  By the afternoon of March 13th, these CFC citizen lobbyists had successfully obtained 39 commitments in support of bills and other CFC legislative priorities.

Fl Rep Matt Gaetz

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz

Without the dogged determination of the legislation’s sponsors like Sen. Hays and Rep. Combee with the support of advocates in the House Reps. Mike Hill, Larry Metz and Matt Gaetz, what occurred this week might not have happened.

That was abetted by a new and important theme, protecting the Constitutional rights of women and children.  This was assisted by able ground forces from the CFC and other concerned citizen activists securing legislator commitments.

But that is not all that occurred in Tallahassee this week.

Earlier this month, Sen. Hays had also deftly maneuvered a companion measure directed at text book review, SB 864, passed the Senate with a thin vote tally of 21 Republicans  to 19 Democrat. The measure would reverse State Department of Education control over selection of textbooks returning that role to Florida’s 67 school districts, requiring open public hearing on texts used in courses.  SB 864 was largely prompted by a different issue; objections of parental groups in several Florida counties about the treatment of Islam and Muslim culture in world history textbooks that are on the Florida State Department of Education list of approved texts.

Today, the House passed the amended SB864/HB 921 by a resounding bi-partisan 117 yeas with 2 not voting.

Fl Rep_ Larry Metz

Florida Rep. Larry Metz

Like the experience with SB 386, SB 864/HB 921: “on K to 12 instruction materials”, was amended following a conference with both Senate and House sponsors and consultation with the Governor’s office.  While it may require clarification that standards of fact-based accurate depictions in world history texts should be adhered to, the legislation does create a process giving parents relief who object at the school district  level  to specific instructional material triggering  a public hearing.  The legislation  also adds requirements that instructional materials “accurately portray the religious and physical diversity of our society”. Further, it makes the school district boards responsible for the content of all instructional materials used in the classroom.  One important requirement is that the amended legislation would add a new topic in the curriculum specified in 1003.42, F.S. –“the events surrounding the terrorist attacks occurring on 9/11/01 and the impacts of those events on the nation”.

Those of us who have been involved with the support of both measures consider them landmarks for possible consideration in other US states.  This might not satisfy all of the concerns in certain quarters; however, they reflect two well turned precepts.  Voltaire wrote: “a wise Italian says that the best is the enemy of the good”.   German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck said:  “politics is the art of the possible”.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

Dutch Foreign Minister questioned about arrest of British politician Paul Weston of LibertyGB

On Sunday I co-hosted with Lisa Benson a program on the Phoenix-based Salem radio network Lisa Benson Show on National Security. It was the first US interview with courageous free speech advocate Paul Weston after his release from jail in the UK. We also had on Elisabeth Sabaditsch -Wolf from Vienna and Sarah Stern of the Washington, DC based Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET).

Stern addressed the demise of the Administration Final Status Negotiations, Secretary of State Kerry’s reprehensible gaffes about Israel devolving into a racist  Apartheid state if a deal failed and a comment on anti-Israel J Street’s campaign to join the Jewish  umbrella group,  the Council of Presidents of American Jewish organizations. The COPMAJO thankfully turned down J Street’s application yesterday.  Stern also pointed out that J Street had supported efforts of the Muslim Brotherhood affiliate the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Regime in Tehran through the National Iranian Ameitican Council (NIAC).

Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wollff covered the litigation against her free speech and seminars  about Islamic doctrine and entanglements with Austrian  hate speech laws. She got convicted for reading Suras from the Qur’an about treatment of women and girls under Shariah, Islamic law. Ms. Sabadistch-Wolff will shortly arrive in Orlando, Florida to be part of the first US Prayer March against Persecution of Christians. She and her colleagues from the Citizens’ Movement PAXEUROPA and the International Civil Liberties Alliance  had exposed the myth of Islamophobia at the 2013 Meetings of the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Warsaw in 2013.

Paul Weston of Liberty GB explained that following his arrest and incarceration in jail for several hours following the episode reading excerpts in Winchester from Churchill’s The River War about Islam, that he was recharged under Article 4 of the Criminal code in the Uk for racially based incitement!!  He had to post bail to be released from jail prior to a hearing.  If the court hearing based on the new charges is successfully prosecuted in the UK law courts, Weston could serve  up to two years  in Jail. As pointed out by co-host Lisa Benson, it was as if Churchill had  been arrested given what Weston had done last Saturday in Winchester.

These are troubling times in the West. Our friend the Hon. Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) and PVV colleague Raymond de Roon  are to be commended for requesting  the Dutch Foreign Minister Timmermans to question Her Majesty’s Government in the UK about the denial of free speech and freedom  of LibertyGB leader and politician, Paul Weston. We know where Paul weston stands on these vital issues in Faire Albion having interviewed him for the New English Review. Freedom in the UK  that has been eclipsed by recognition of  Islamic Law in more than 90  Sharia Law Courts and the promotion by UK Prime Minister David Cameron of the City of London as the capital of Sharia compliant finance placing trillions of euro dollar deals earning lawyers and brokers millions in fees. And, we might millions in obligatory Zakat contributions, one of which is following in the way of Allah, Jihad.  Weston pointed out these troubling developments  when II asked him how widely recognized Islamic doctrine was in the UK that he ably rewsponded in her remarks  to the radio audience here in America and via internet in the  World.

Listen to the Lisa Benson Radio show with Paul Weston, Elisabeth Sabaditsch- Wolff and Sarah Stern:


Bravo to Geert Wilders and Raymond de Roon for rising to the defense of Paul Weston’s  free speech and liberty in the UK. Wilders’ own free speech and liberty have been attacked in March 2014  given   losses in Dutch local elections  that stunned the ruling coalition government in the Hague Parliament.   Dutch political leaders have failed to dislodge  Freedom Party’s (PVVs)  discomforting their vaunted multiculturalism and appeasement of Islamic intimidation of free speech and both civil and human rights.  Wilders and the PVV standing in polls taken in the Netherlands have vaulted toi the top  in the run up to the European Parliamentary elections over the period from May 22 to the 25th.

Nevertheless, we need to support Weston’s liberty in the UK. Wilders and de Roon have led the international effort to defend our colleague and his party, LibertyGB.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

Islamic Terrorists and Their Supporters Have No Constitutional Rights In America

If we were to begin debating who is and who isn’t a U.S. citizen, we would most certainly begin having lawyers from all across America giving their definition. We would have traitors such as the Obama’s and Eric Holder calling any American who does not agree with them racists. We would have Senator Harry Reid calling American Patriots domestic terrorists. 

The only people whose opinion counts are the ones who drafted the U.S. Constitution and American Patriots. An American Patriot is a person born or legally in America. He/She would give his/her life for America and the U.S. Constitution. People outside of this box are not American citizens and have no rights in America.

This is what it has come down to in America. Americans no longer want politically and greed biased attorneys, supporters of Islam & Sharia law, nor traitors in our own government who lead the American people in a method more similar to Sharia law than the U.S. Constitution. In addition we no longer want or care about the ideas and thoughts of Hollywood actors/actresses who pose as ‘News Journalists’ .

The true American Patriots are ones who will stand up for the causes such as in the ‘Rancher Bundy’ case in Nevada. So many people have gotten it wrong about the reasons so may people have rallied for Rancher Bundy. It is not personally for the Bundy family, but because Americans are tired o being trampled on by our own government and law enforcement officers who take pride in pushing ladies to the ground. Yet these same people cower to illegal narcotics suppliers, Islamic terrorists and their supporters, gang leaders such as within the ‘Bloods and Crips’. American Patriots want a show of force on our borders and in our cities to combat Islamic leaders who want to control our beautiful country. American Patriots have had enough.

There have been some ‘Hollywood Actors’ (Journalists) on the major news media (to include Fox) that continue to portray true Islam as peaceful. Even tonight Actor Bill O’Reilly said the two Islamic brother terrorists who bombed the Boston Marathon last year disgraced their religion of Islam. These two Islamic terrorists did not disgrace their religion. They simply did exactly what is taught in Islam. Muslims are mandated by Islam & Sharia law to fight and kill their enemies worldwide. The mosques in Boston and all across America are very much openly saying this.

American Patriots define an American as to one who was born in America (and can prove it), or they are naturalized citizens, and most importantly they give their oath to America and our U.S. Constitution. The only naturalized citizens are people who have entered America legally. If you came to America illegally then you are not a citizen of America, you are a criminal. You have no legal rights in our country.

If you are an elected official who has never sworn an oath to ‘God’ (not Allah) and has never sworn to abide by the U.S. Constitution, then you are not a lawfully elected represenative of America. This applies to politicians like Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota. Ellison would not swear under oath with a Bible, he used the Quran. Ellison is a CAIR supporter and believes Sharia law trumps the U.S. Constitution. American Patriots believe Ellison is a traitor and a traitor is not an American citizen.

Per U.S. Constitution, 14th Amendment

NATURALIZED CITIZEN. One who, being born an alien, has lawfully become a citizen of the United States Under the constitution and laws.

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.

Any person or organization (such as CAIR) who advocate for Sharia law to be the law of the land in America are traitors. American Patriots do not consider these people and organizations such as CAIR to have any rights in America, and any traitor to America is not a citizen of this beautiful country. People who support traitors have no rights in America.

CAIR and thousands of mosques in America have materials by Abul Maududi. In 1941 he founded Jamaat-e-Islami (Brothers to Al Qaeda). He was born in Pakistan an died in Buffalo, New York. He wrote many Jihad manuals that called for destroying America through Jihad Qital (physical fighting). This is from one of the books that CAIR and millions of Muslims in America uses as their study and reference material. Millions of Muslims call Maududi a Muslim hero.

“Islam is not merely a religious creed or a set of rituals but it is a comprehensive system that tends to annihilate all tyrannical and evil systems in the world and to enforce its own reformation program”

Jihad in Islam book cover“Any government or authority opposed to its ideology (Islam and Sharia law) and concept, wherever and whoever it may be, Islam is out to eliminate it. Islam stands for the domination of ts on ideology and concept without caring the least who supports its cause and whose authority vanishes in the process. Islam demands not any piece of land but authority all over the globe”.

I mentioned Maududi books are used within CAIR, dozens of Islamic organizations, and mosques across America. Maududi and his followers demand the elimination of America. He calls for treason and sedition against America. Why then doesn’t the IRS and DOJ (Holder) go after these non profit organizations?

If you want a copy of ‘Jihad in Islam’ by Maududi, contact me at davegaubatz@gmail.com.

Secure property rights: Hold government to the law by Ron Arnold

Cliven Bundy marched into my life one Friday morning in January 1992 in a protest bound for a federal courthouse in Las Vegas. He held up one side of a street-width banner that asked, “Has the West been won or has the fight just begun?”

To my great relief, just as Bundy promised, nearly 200 ranchers from all over the state marched behind him, yelling “Property rights!” Nearly a mile later, the marchers fell silent and filed into the courtroom where Wayne Hage of Pine Creek Ranch faced arraignment for the felony of cleaning brush out of his ditches without a U.S. Forest Service permit.

The Forest Service had already confiscated Hage’s cattle and left him bankrupt, just as the Bureau of Land Management would try with Bundy 22 years later.

Hage had already filed a lawsuit against the Forest Service in the U.S. Court of Claims, just as Bundy now has cause to do against the BLM – last week, during their failed attempt to confiscate Bundy’s cattle, agents wantonly bulldozed his water supply into oblivion without court authority.

Wayne Hage did not stand in that courtroom alone because I was honor bound to prevent it – I had published his 1989 book, Storm Over Rangelands: Private Rights in Federal Lands, which unleashed the federal fury.

The message terrified abusive bureaucrats: There are private rights in federal lands – vested rights, not privileges.

His book, the product of three intensive, grueling years consulting with dozens of experts and sifting through many archives, found the dirty little secret that could destroy the abusive power of all federal Western land agencies – by making them obey their own laws.

It was so stunning that a sitting Supreme Court justice secretly sent Wayne a message marveling at his shining intellect – burnished with a masters degree in animal science and honed by academic colloquies as a trustee of the University of Nevada Foundation – and warning of the titanic battle to come.

How true: Hage was convicted of brush cutting but acquitted on appeal. His own lawsuit against the United States took almost 20 years, but proved there are private rights in federal land. He died of cancer in 2006 before he could see how great a victory he had won – and how the battle is still just beginning, as Bundy foresaw.

Wayne’s son, Wayne N. Hage, now manages Pine Creek, and his daughter Ramona Hage Morrison is his intellectual heir. She helped research his book, lived the courthouse agonies with her father and assisted with his seminars on protecting ranchers’ rights. Morrison said:

Private rights in federal lands were recognized in an 1866 water law. It says, Bundy cattle“… whenever, by priority of possession, rights to the use of water have vested and accrued, and the same are recognized and acknowledged by the local customs, laws, and the decisions of courts, the possessors and owners of such vested rights shall be maintained and protected in the same.”

That Act was passed a long time ago, but every federal land law since then contains a clause with language similar to, “Nothing in this Act shall be construed to impair any vested right in existence on the effective date of this Act.”

Most ranchers don’t know that and federal agencies exploit their ignorance with harassment that runs them off the land. Actually, understanding vested rights is not too hard – they’re absolute rights not subject to cancellation – but proving up those rights by assembling your chain of title and other technicalities and then making the government protect them is very hard.

The agencies know they don’t own the water rights, so their lawyers fight viciously with misdirection to save their empire from the owners. Ranchers lose in court because they don’t know how to prove up their vested rights and they don’t get lawyers who know the precision required to plead a vested rights case. Very few lawyers know.

Ranchers, get smart. Don’t assume anything. You probably believe a lot of things that aren’t true. Get busy and prove up your vested rights as we did. Get a court to adjudicate them as we did. Yes, your whole life will be one battle after another, like ours. Seek help to develop an army of supporters, as we did. You can shout freedom slogans all you want, but only the courts can destroy the root power of federal abuse.

The BLM has now withdrawn. Bundy has his moment of triumph. The cries of victory are thrilling.

But we know it’s not over yet. The BLM did not leave because angry citizens outnumbered their assault force by 100 to 1. Nothing has touched the BLM’s ability to return.

Get real: the BLM invaders left when it got ugly because it’s an election year and they’re all Democrats. They’ll be back.

Supreme Court 3Property rights defenders can stop them. We can go on the attack in the courts with organized funding to adjudicate protection for every last vested right in the American West. We have the laws to do it. We now need organization, money, brains, and the will to make it happen. Every vested right that we protect will destroy that much federal power to abuse.

Let no ranching family go unprotected.

That’s the hard way, but it’s the only way that works. Stay on target: the federal power to abuse must be destroyed.

EDITORS NOTE: This article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner.

About the Author: Ron Arnold

Ron Arnold is executive vice president of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise.

Federal judge: Let Florida voters be damned! Recognize gay marriages!

hinkle

Judge Robert L. Hinkle

MIAMI – On Friday, U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle, a Clinton appointee who has been assigned the two federal lawsuits seeking to overthrow Florida’s constitutional respect for marriage as one man, one woman, denied a motion to intervene filed by Florida Family Action Committee.  “No FFA member seeks to enter a same-sex-marriage or will be directly affected if others enter same-sex marriages,” Hinkle ruled.

Christian Family Coalition Florida (CFCF), issued the following statement:

“Judge Hinkle is sworn to uphold the U.S. and Florida Constitution, including the Fourteenth Amendment guarantee to equal protection and due process. However, Hinkle has violated his oath of office by deciding he does not want to hear from Florida Family Action Committee and the eight million Florida voters who cast their ballot on the Florida marriage amendment. This preliminary ruling violates the equal protection and due process rights of ALL Florida voters. Therefore, his claim that no FFA member seeks to enter a same-sex-marriage or will be directly affected if others enter same-sex marriages is false. What is true is that no Floridian will be directly or indirectly affected if U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle is impeached.”

Read more here: ACLU: Immediately order Florida to recognize same-sex couples’ marriages performed out of state

CFCnewlogo(2)ABOUT THE CHRISTIAN FAMILY COALITION

The Christian Family Coalition (CFC) is a widely acclaimed human rights and social justice advocacy organization serving Florida’s children and families for over 10 years. Through its daily community outreach, political education programs, and voter registration, CFC effectively mobilizes thousands of fair-minded voters across the state and actively works with municipal, county, state, and federal elected officials to advance common sense, family-friendly, non-discriminatory values and public policies. The CFC is highly respected for its sought-after, educational voter guides consulted by thousands of houses of worship and their voters all across Florida.

same sex marriage map

Battle to free Justina Pelletier continues in Massachusetts!

The battle to free 15-year-old Justina Pelletier from her custody — many have called it captivity — by the Massachusetts Department of Families and Children (DCF) bureaucracy has become even more heated over the past week. And it has continued to make news internationally and be documented across the Internet.

There were a lot of signs like this outside the State House on Tuesday.
[Photos by MassResistance]

Shocking deaths of children force sudden resignation of DCF head

On Tuesday the Commissioner of DCF, Olga Roche, was forced to resign after three young children in DCF’s care were recently found dead through apparentnegligence by the department. The deaths of these children have shocked the region, and have taken some of the public’s attention off of the Justina Pelletier DCF case.

Governor continues to refuse to act

The Governor has continued to shamefully defend the process and claim that he can do nothing to stop it:

Last week, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick stated that the decision to remove Justina from her parents was made “based on a detailed record of the history of neglect in the home.” That was blatantly false, and the local press wasted no time excoriating the Governor for this unwarranted attack on the family.

But also last week, Governor told a family representative that he wanted to get Justina home and that his administration has “appeared in court to have her sent home to Connecticut” but that“the court has jurisdiction in this matter, not us.”

On Thursday, the Governor’s Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz wrote an email to the Connecticut media, where Justina’s family lives, saying that Massachusetts would like to release Justina, but “DCF does not have the authority to determine when and if custody should be returned to Justina’s parents” because of the judge’s ruling “that it is in the best interest of Justina to remain in DCF custody for now. “

Can the Governor free Justina? Given that she is a citizen of Connecticut, and given the other enormous irregularities of this case, and given that he controls DCF, it’s hard to believe that an executive order in that regard would not be possible. But if not, the Legislature can.

Bill to free Justina being temporarily blocked in Mass. House

The bill in the Massachusetts Legislature which would overrule the judge and free Justina immediately, HD 4212, written by MassResistance and filed on April 4, continues to be blocked by the Democratic leadership in the House, despite national outrage and a flood of calls and emails from across the country. (More about the bill can be found on our Free Justina Action Page.)

On Friday, the national conservative magazine Human Events reported on the bill,its blockage in the Legislature, and the controversy over whether the Governor has the power to free her himself:

“If Justina Pelletier dies in the state’s care, that’s on the hands of Gov. Deval L. Patrick,” said Brian Camenker, founder and executor director of Mass Resistance, a Waltham-based pro-family action center, who filed H.D. 4212 with the state House in early April. If signed into law, the measure would release 15-year-old Justina to her parents Linda and Lou Pelletier who reside in West Hartford, Conn.”

Members of the family describe Justina, who was an athlete and competitive skater in declining health and in a wheel chair, he said. “I don’t have the medical evidence but some say she could die.”

Protest at State House in support of bill to free Justina


The demonstration for Justina outside of the State House.

On Tuesday, about two dozen people demonstrated outside of the Massachusetts State House to support Justina and demand the Legislature pass the bill to free her. They filled the outside steps with stuffed animals for Justina. Four Republican State Representatives who have been vocal on Justina’s behalf briefly came out and joined them in solidarity with their push to get the bill passed.


Over a hundred stuffed animals for Justina on the steps of the State House!

Republican State Reps (from left) Marc Lombardo, Jim Lyons, Shaunna O’Connell, and Geoff Diehl came out from the budget debates to show their support.

Justina’s sister talked about how Justina doesn’t even know that one of her pets has died because the State of Massachusetts’ DCF bureaucrats won’t allow the family to discuss anything with her that’s not approved by them.

Administration’s claim to media shows why the Legislature must act!

The email sent by Massachusetts Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz to the Connecticut media includes a number of disputed claims about Justina’s health and well-being while in DCF custody. However, it reflects the Governor’s position that no matter how he says he “feels” about the situation, he intends to let the Juvenile Court decision stand.

Thus, barring a successful court action by the family’s attorneys, such as the recent habeas corpus filing, Justina is at the mercy of the Juvenile Court judge, and by extension the DCF bureaucracy. But this is no “normal” case by any measure. The judge’s actions in this case have been excoriated even by liberal law professor Alan Dershowitz.

Besides a successful legal challenge there is only one other option: The Legislature can act to free Justina. But the Democratic leadership is bottling it up.

Continue pounding on the legislators to get this bill passed!

This week is being taken up by the budget deliberations in the Mass. House. But we’re not letting that stop us. Go to our Free Justina Action Page and keep the pressure up! (And to those in Massachusetts: If you are willing to go and lobby at the State House, let us know!)

Florida: Minimum-mandatory gun sentences need revamping

Minimum-mandatory sentencing sounds like a good idea, because it keeps judges from imposing lighter, or no sentences upon dangerous criminals. But while legislators hold judges feet to the fire with broad-brush mandatory sentencing laws, many decent, non-dangerous people are being victimized with excessive penalties that they don’t deserve.

I would call upon the governor and the state representatives of Florida to reconsider these draconian mandates that strip judges of all discretion from considering extenuating circumstances in each and every case. We’ve gone too far in punishing people with minimum sentences just because they happened to be in possession of a firearm at the time of the alleged “crime.” I cite two particular Florida cases which serve as examples of overly “harsh” penalties imposed upon decent people whose back were to the walls in moments of domestic in-tranquility.

Our justice system has lost its sense of justice and humanity. Decent people who are no threat to society languish in prison for decades based on sentencing technicalities that strip judges from using judicial discretion. Meanwhile, dangerous criminals still roam the streets while honest and productive citizens languish in jail cells, leaving kids stripped of fathers and mothers.

Example One: Marissa Alexander, 31, Jacksonville. In 2012, this mother of a three small kids, holding a master’s degree and working at a job, was sentenced to 20 years in state prison. Her crime: Firing a gun toward a wall as a warning shot during a domestic fight with her estranged husband, who was under a restraining order.

Charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, prosecutors offered a plea deal for reduced charges, but she declined, feeling she was guilty of no crime. The jury found her guilty, compelling the judge to sentence her to 20 years, based on laws that give judges no discretion.

Said Circuit Judge Donald Jacobsen: “If it weren’t for the minimum mandatory aspect of this, I would use my discretion and impose some separated sentence, considering the circumstances of this event.”

The insanity of such cruel and harsh punishment is incomprehensible. Even if she showed poor judgment, there was no justifiable reason to incarcerate a productive, law-abiding human being for 7,300 days. The state not only punished Alexander, but three kids will grow up without a mother.

Example Two: Orville Wollard, 53, Davenport. This family man, gainfully employed, had been coping with a problem whereby his live-at-home daughter was often abused by her violence-prone boyfriend.

On May 14, 2008, Wollard was called at work by his wife, advising of a volatile situation at the house. He later saw that his daughter had a black eye. Having had arm surgery, Wollard was no match for the young man in a physical altercation. The boyfriend was ordered out of the house but refused.

The fighting escalated until Wollard retrieved his legally owned firearm. After the angry boy punched a hole in the wall, he confronted the older man. Wollard fired a shot into the wall. The boyfriend left. No one was hurt. Weeks later, the boyfriend called police and filed a report.

Wollard was prosecuted and convicted of the same crime as Alexander. As in that case, and because he was in possession of a firearm at the time of a felony, the judge was duty bound under minimum mandatory laws to sentence this good and decent man to 20 years in prison, wrecking his life and the life of his family.

At the sentencing, Wollard spoke to the court: “This person assaults my daughter, he threatens me, I protect myself. No one is injured, and I am going to prison. I would expect this from the Soviet Union not the United States.”

The state Clemency Board and/or Florida governor have the power to grant pardons and/or clemency when miscarriages of justice are wrongfully imposed against citizens. Alexander and Wollard certainly qualify for consideration.

The New York Times Discovers the Rule of Law

Leave it to The Gay Lady to be a day late and a few brain cells short. The New York Times recently published an article by some journalism-school retread about the Cliven Bundy situation, a piece containing all the usual talking points about how the “racist” rancher’s reasoning is really risible. Rinse, wash and repeat. What interests me right now are not the facts of the case, however, but one particular line in the Times commentary.

The sentence is a quotation from ex-superintendent of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area Alan O’Neill, a line that the Times writer, a Mr. Adam Nagourney, obviously felt was so powerful and profound that it warranted closing his piece with. Here’s the passage containing the line:

“He [Bundy] calls himself a patriot, and says he loves America,” Mr. O’Neill said. “And yet he says he won’t follow any federal laws. You just can’t let this go by, or everybody is going to be like, ‘If Bundy can break the law, why can’t I?’”

Wow, an example of not following the law. Shocking! Unprecedented! A threat to the republic!

All I can say about Nagourney is that, for sure, one of us has taken the blue pill.

Has it escaped the Times’ notice that the feds have been found wanting in the enforcement of immigration law for decades and that Barack Obama has basically cast enforcement to the winds? Has the paper ever heard of sanctuary cities? Have its editors gotten the memo about rule by executive order and Obama’s suspension of ObamaCare provisions he finds politically inconvenient? Have they noticed that Uncle Scam has been violating the Constitution — the supreme law of the land — for nigh on 100 years and that Obama wipes his feet on it?

Gay Lady, I hereby re-christen thee The Blue Pill Times.

The BPT is certainly right in assuming that unanswered lawbreaking makes people conclude, “If ______ can break the law, why can’t I?” But it isn’t “Bundy” that fills in that blank.

In point of fact, the reason we had troves of people rallying to Bundy’s side is the same reason why we’re seeing state nullification movements pushing back against ObamaCare, federal gun-control law and other central-government measures:

The blatant and criminal disregard the feds have shown for the Constitution — the contract the American people have with one another — and the feds’ continual overstepping of their bounds and aggregation of power, have caused people to say, “If the feds can break the law, why can’t I?”

It has further made citizens realize that they have a right and a duty to oppose federal law. Why a right? Well, if a party subject to a contract consistently and obstinately violates the contract’s terms for the purposes of advantaging itself and undermining the other parties subject to the contract, are the latter still bound by the now broken agreement?

It is rendered null and void.

As for duty, to sit idly by while the feds violate the contract and trample rights makes one complicit in the crime, an accessory perhaps before, and certainly during and after, the fact.

This, mind you, is the main reason I side with Cliven Bundy. The particulars of the case are irrelevant because the feds long ago demonstrated their ill will and illegitimacy. As for The Blue Pill Times, it’s great it has discovered the value of the rule of law. Now all it need do is reveal what entity truly undermined it and the manifold ways in which it has been done. Of course, this would mean actually presenting, for the first time, “All the News That’s Fit to Print.”

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

Florida Senate votes 24 to 14 to approve American Laws for American Courts legislation

The Florida Senate has approved American Laws for American Courts legislation which would prohibit Sharia and other foreign laws.  The full senate voted voted 24 to 14 in favor of SB 386 titled Application of Foreign Law in Certain Cases at the third reading during the Monday, April 28, 2014 session.

Joseph Abruzzo No Democrat
Thad Altman Yes Republican
Aaron Bean  Yes Republican 
Lizbeth Benacquisto  Yes Republican 
Rob Bradley  Yes Republican 
Jeff Brandes  Yes Republican 
Oscar , II Braynon  No Democrat 
Dwight Bullard  No Democrat 
Jeff Clemens  No Democrat 
Charles S. Dean Sr. Yes Republican 
Nancy C. Detert  Yes Republican 
Miguel Diaz de la Portilla  Yes Republican 
Greg Evers  Yes Republican 
Anitere Flores  Yes Republican 
Don Gaetz  Yes Republican 
Bill Galvano  Yes Republican 
Rene Garcia  Yes Republican 
Andy Gardiner  Yes Republican 
Audrey Gibson  No Democrat 
Denise Grimsley  Yes Republican 
Alan Hays  Yes Republican 
Dorothy L. Hukill  Yes Republican 
Arthenia L. Joyner  No Democrat 
Jack Latvala Republican
Tom Lee  Yes Republican 
John Legg  Yes Republican 
Gwen Margolis  No Democrat 
Bill Montford  No Democrat 
Joe Negron Republican
Garrett Richter  Yes Republican 
Jeremy Ring  No Democrat 
Maria Lorts Sachs  No Democrat 
David Simmons Yes Republican
Wilton Simpson Yes Republican
Christopher L. Smith No Democrat
Eleanor Sobel No Democrat
>Darren Soto No Democrat
Kelli Stargel Yes Republican
Geraldine F. Thompson No Democrat
John Thrasher Yes Republican

 

The official Florida Senate vote history for SB 386 is posted here.  

This legislation, commonly known as “American Laws for American Courts”, would prohibit Florida courts from considering certain provisions of foreign laws, including Islamic Sharia law, if such provisions are inconsistent with the Florida and United States of America Constitutions.

If Florida courts accept provisions of Islamic Sharia law or other foreign laws or legal codes which are inconsistent with American laws it will undermine public policies enacted by our representative form of government and change our value system.

Application of Foreign Law in Certain Cases:

Defines “foreign law, legal code, or system”; specifies public policy on application of foreign law, legal code, or system in proceedings relating to dissolution of marriage, support, time-sharing, UCCJEA, & UIFSA; provides that certain decisions rendered under such laws, codes, or systems are void; provides that certain contracts & contract provisions are void; provides for construction of waiver by natural person of person’s fundamental liberties, rights, & privileges guaranteed by state or federal constitutions; provides that claims of forum non conveniens or related claims must be denied; provides that act doesn’t require or authorize court to adjudicate, or prohibit any religious organization from adjudicating, ecclesiastical matters in violation of specified constitutional provisions or to conflict with any federal treaty or other international agreement to which U.S. is party to specified extent.  Full text of SB 386.

A vote by the full Florida House of Representatives on HB 903 Application of Foreign Law in Certain Cases is pending.