WTF Wednesday

I am sorry to continue to be such a downer, but the past couple of weeks have been especially rough over here. It is so deeply awful and I just wish people could care just a little about the way that these decisions are ruining lives. These actions reinforce the status quo, and the status quo in the United States favors white people. I get why people do not give a shit because their lives will not be impacted by this, but YOU ARE AWFUL.

I am so thankful to work in education where I have the opportunity to work with and serve so many people from different cultures, countries, races, sexuality, identities, ability, and religion. The Supreme Court ruling will end careers for some people who will not be able to renew work visas. It will rob students of future career opportunities in this county once their student visa expires. It is disgusting and it is devastating to watch these decisions rip through the lives of the people around me. Right now, I just keep focusing on my favorite sections of Justices Sonia Sotomayor’s and Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s scathing dissent (you can read the full dissent here starting on page 65). Or, what it should be called, “What in the actual f*ck are you people thinking?” There are people in power who know this is wrong. They are out there. Let’s support them.

The United States of America is a Nation built upon the promise of religious liberty. Our Founders honored that core promise by embedding the principle of religious neutrality in the First Amendment. The Court’s decision today fails to safeguard that fundamental principle. It leaves undisturbed a policy first advertised openly and unequivocally as a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” because the policy now masquerades behind a façade of national-security concerns.

 

But this repackaging does little to cleanse Presidential Proclamation No. 9645 of the appearance of discrimination that the President’s words have created. Based on the evidence in the record, a reasonable observer would conclude that the Proclamation was motivated by anti-Muslim animus. That alone suffices to show that plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of their Establishment Clause claim. The majority holds otherwise by ignoring the facts, misconstruing our legal precedent, and turning a blind eye to the pain and suffering the Proclamation inflicts upon countless families and individuals, many of whom are United States citizens. Because that troubling result runs contrary to the Constitution and our precedent, I dissent.

Taking all the relevant evidence together, a reasonable observer would conclude that the Proclamation was driven primarily by anti-Muslim animus, rather than by the Government’s asserted national-security justifications. Even before being sworn into office, then-candidate Trump stated that “Islam hates us,” warned that “[w]e’re having problems with the Muslims, and we’re having problems with Muslims coming into the country,” promised to enact a “total and complete shut down of Muslims entering the United States,” and instructed one of his advisers to find a “lega[l]” way to enact a Muslim ban. The President continued to make similar statements well after his inauguration, as detailed above.

 

Moreover, despite several opportunities to do so, President Trump has never disavowed any of his prior statements about Islam. Instead, he has continued to make remarks that a reasonable observer would view as an unrelenting attack on the Muslim religion and its followers. Given President Trump’s failure to correct the reasonable perception of his apparent hostility toward the Islamic faith, it is unsurprising that the President’s lawyers have, at every step in the lower courts, failed in their attempts to launder the Proclamation of its discriminatory taint.

Judge Sotomayor also served some scorched earth in her dissent on the Texas Racial Gerrymandering Case. Next time someone tells you that they do not vote or it does not matter, then please remind them that the President of the United States appoints the Supreme Court Justices. The highest law in the land has sided with fear, racism, and religious intolerance. I have often wondered if people knew in the moment that they were part of a dark chapter in history, but we can go forward without doubt that we are responsible for one of the most disturbing and hateful periods in modern American history. Yesterday, the President of our country said, “I’m sorry, you can’t come in.” This is America.

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