POLITICO: “Fox News Channel has signed Citizens United president and President Donald Trump’s former deputy campaign manager David Bossie as a contributor. He will offer political analysis across Fox News and Fox Business Network’s daytime and primetime programming effective immediately.”
Citizens United and Citizens United Foundation joined with several other conservative organizations in filing an amicus brief with the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals asking the court to empanel an 11 judge en banc panel to rehear arguments on reinstating President Trump’s immigration order.
President Trump’s detractors are bent on forcing him into a fire sale of his vast business empire, arguing his ownership of various assets violates the Foreign Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution. That clause prohibits federal officials from accepting “any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or Foreign State.” The Framers considered an “emolument” as something similar to a perk associated with the performance of official duties. An automobile given by a head of state to the ambassador from the U.S. would be a classic example of an emolument prohibited by the clause.
Just three days after President Trump was sworn into office, the liberal activist group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (“CREW”) filed a lawsuit demanding the courts force him to divest the bulk of his business holdings. The complaint alleges Mr. Trump’s ownership of real estate assets such as The Trump Tower in New York and Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, and his receipt of royalties from the Television program “The Apprentice” qualify as emoluments that create conflicts of interests making him beholden to foreign governments.
The unprecedented legal theory of the case is that President Trump’s properties generate at least some receipts from foreign officials and governments, meaning some of those receipts will eventually find their way into Mr. Trump’s pocket as profits. Consequently, according to the lawsuit, the Emoluments Clause bars him from owning those assets because his judgment as President may be compromised by the profits he receives from foreign payments to his companies.
In fact, we filed one of only three amicus briefs supporting the President’s Executive Order, ours being filed on behalf of the United States Justice Foundation, Citizens United, Citizens United Foundation, English First Foundation, English First, Public Advocate of the United States, Gun Owners Foundation, Gun Owners of America, Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund, U.S. Border Control Foundation, and Policy Analysis Center. Our brief focused on two issues: the President’s statutory authority to suspend or even bar entry into the United States of any alien or group of aliens, demonstrating that his power has never been successfully challenged — and often has never been challenged at all. Secondly, our brief demonstrated the flaws in the vetting process for refugees, citing a report done by the Obama Department of Homeland Security. Neither of these matters were addressed even in passing by the panel.
“Throughout the campaign, President Trump promised the American people that he would nominate a conservative judge to the high court in the mold of Justice Scalia and that’s exactly what he did. Neil Gorsuch is 49 years of age and has served as a federal judge on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Colorado since 2006. Judge Gorsuch is a highly qualified mainstream conservative jurist who will defend the U.S. Constitution and interpret the law in an impartial manner. If he’s confirmed, Neil Gorsuch will continue in Justice Scalia’s honored and respected footsteps on the bench for decades and decades to come. While Republicans control the U.S. Senate with 52 votes, Democrats appear poised to filibuster or otherwise obstruct this confirmation process. This strategy is a big risk for the Democrats and they must be held to account for decisions they make that are adverse to the wishes of millions of their constituents. The American people have spoken. They elected Donald Trump to choose Justice Antonin Scalia's successor. Judge Gorsuch should be confirmed by the U.S. Senate without delay and he deserves bipartisan support just like Obama appointees Justices Sotomayor and Kagan received in 2009 and 2010 respectively.”
Similar to the New York Attorney General, the California Attorney General is demanding that non-profit organization operating in California disclosure the names, addresses and contribution amounts of their most valuable donors to his office. The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California recently enjoined the California Attorney General from imposing the disclosure obligation on Americans for Prosperity Foundation as a violation of the group’s free speech and associational rights. The Attorney General has appealed that decision to the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Citizens United and Citizens United Foundation have joined forces with the Free Speech Defense & Education Fund and numerous other entities in filing an amicus curiae brief supporting Americans for Prosperity Foundation before the 9th Circuit.
Some of our elected leaders on Capitol Hill have made a habit of making simple things complicated. It's an old but effective tactic designed to frustrate those who are advocating for reform. It's the same list of excuses we've all heard a thousand times. It usually starts with "it's not the right time" or "be careful what you wish for" or the dreaded "we don't have the votes."
A perfect example of this is the question of whether or not there should be a new constitutional amendment for congressional term limits. In the era of complex and unreadable 1,000-page pieces of legislation, the questions surrounding this debate are simple. Should Congress be term limited like the presidency, and if so where should the limits be set? Only in Washington can a joint resolution that spans two paragraphs be made into a complicated matter. There's absolutely no doubt that amending the U.S. Constitution should be taken very seriously and debated thoroughly, but the American people clearly want the debate and an up-or-down vote.
A recent poll indicates that 74 percent of likely U.S. voters support such a proposal, with only 13 percent in opposition. In today's America it's hard to find any initiative that enjoys such strong support from our citizenry, and with good reason. I'm not sure I know anyone — Democrat or Republican — who really believes Congress has been functioning effectively for a long time. So congressional term limits is hardly a new phenomenon. The American people's distrust in Washington politicians and out of control federal spending has been growing for decades. The last time there was a real push was in mid-1990s, when Newt Gingrich was speaker of the House. The measure failed back then but that did not deter those reform-minded Republicans from putting it up for a vote.