On the EDge: Yes, indeed, we will see you in court Mr. President

composite stock images, St. George News

OPINION – The framers of the Constitution were smart guys.

In creating a document that secures our basic freedoms and rule of law, they were able to insert some safeguards that are, thankfully, dousing the flames of irrational behavior and a sense of unrepentant disregard for civil rights and human dignity by an administration in disarray just weeks into its tenure.

That the travel ban has thus far been smacked down as unconstitutional presidential overreach by two federal courts is an indication that the system works, particularly when you have a political tyro launching salvos in the form of uninformed Executive Orders crafted without substance or input from those with an understanding of government structure, procedure and limitations.

There is normally a honeymoon period with a new administration, a time when there is a spirit of unity and accord as the transference of power unfolds.

But, to successfully complete this transaction, the new guys must have at least basic knowledge of how the system works and at least minimal comprehension of how this thing about limited powers, checks and balances and other government lessons taught in high school civics classes, is supposed to work.

I mean, we have seen serious lapses of ethics and credibility from Kellyanne Conway, the top advisor to the president, to Sean Spicer, the top West Wing flak whose job is to spin the day’s events with fervor to favor the administration.

But, it’s getting uglier with each passing day and no amount of spin or shuffle can undo the events and growing mountain of lies that have the nation staggering on the precipice of Constitutional crisis.

What is most astounding is that the administration has been so alarming in its remarks about the system of checks and balances instituted by the founding fathers.

The president’s insulting remarks about the courts and judges who knocked down his travel ban EO are as startling as they are unprecedented. Even George W. Bush, when overruled by the courts, grudgingly acceded to the rule of law. It was a signal of respect for our form of government instead of slapping it down with a churlish 140-character blast on Twitter.

When the framers of the Constitution placed pen to parchment it was impossible, of course, for them to foresee the incredible evolution of the nation’s manner, form, intellect and, yes, even technology that their humble document would defend and define.

But, of the 55 framers of the Constitution, 32 were lawyers who clearly understood what was on the line and what they needed to protect, whether from irrational judgment or challenges by dime-store scholars.

They crafted this seemingly enigmatic document purposefully to set the parameters that would remain useful in a future they could never imagine and imposed these checks and balances to ensure that a wigged-out strongman with revenge in his heart and a skewed perspective could not undo the principles of liberty.

Thank God.

There are vast powers accorded the president, but there are also safeguards to ensure that we don’t end up under the thumb of a Vladimir Putin, Saddam Hussein or Kim Jong Un. It’s why the three branches of government have the power to quash actions that violate the Constitution.

It can be argued that some federal court rulings are tainted with the scent of partisanship, but the latest ruling to halt the travel ban came unanimously from a three-judge panel, including one appointed by George W. Bush, which means even some conservatives still adhere to the principles of the Constitution.

It is a lesson being learned hard and fast up and down the ranks, even in Utah where Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a hardline conservative, was uncharacteristically booed during a contentious town hall meeting in Cottonwood Heights Thursday.

The chairman of the House Oversight Committee was clearly flustered, but later asserted that the protesters were paid provocateurs.

Do the math. Progressives simply do not have pockets deep enough to fund the number of protests that have taken place on seven continents since the inauguration.

I have been very aware of Chaffetz since he caddied for former Gov. Jon Huntsman, first as campaign manager, then as chief of staff.

I sat with him through several meetings, his eyes darting furtively in an attempt to evaluate the room and find advantage.

His political ascension was remarkably fast. Of course being the right-hand man for, perhaps, the most popular and arguably the best governor in the state’s history gave him a substantial boost.

Chaffetz was the first Utah politico to withdraw his support of Donald Trump when the seedy comments made by Trump to a former television host were revealed. But, Chaffetz is a slick politician and has now decided to parrot the party line, which is built upon specious media conspiracy theories and alleged covert political operations. He has hedged his bet somewhat by joining Democrats who want to censure Conway for illegally shilling for Ivanka Trump’s fashion line.

I am fairly confident that Chaffetz will not jump this ship until it is clear that this administration is dangerous to his political ambition and fortunes.

Unfortunately, that is how it is falling out along The Beltway these days.

Partisanship has always, of course, played a role in Washington, D.C. But, there was a time when our elected leaders also applied statesmanship, putting the welfare of the nation ahead of political and personal gain; a time when the tenets of government were honored and defended.

That is, sadly, no longer the case.

Not when a respected federal jurist is denigrated as “this so-called judge;” the thoughtful and scholarly opinions of the court are demeaned as “ridiculous and will be overturned;” and our checks and balances are slandered with the false assessment that “Our legal system is broken.”

Life is more than a 140-character Tweet intended to bully or obfuscate, although the latest Twitter missive – “SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!” – sets the scene.

For both sides.

Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews, @EdKociela

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!


  • r2d2 February 14, 2017 at 9:52 am

    I find it amusing that the founding fathers can be picked apart for ones own view. They were God fearing, and I’m sure if they were still around there would be no abortion, and God would still be in schools. I guess we should just roll over and let these people in, teach them how to fly and let them have a plane full people to fly into a building. I still think 99% of what you say is over the EDge.

  • Craig February 14, 2017 at 10:38 am

    I disagree. Per legislative law, the President has the right to do this. It is a privilege to come to America for any reason; it is not a right.

    I do agree he was wrong to hinder those with the proper legal paperwork, though one could make an argument that as non-citizens, they can also be prevented from entering.

    I hope he cleans up the order and re-issues. One of his most primary duties is to protect this nation. And, one of the reasons there is only one person in the executive branch with the power for a final decision, as compared to the other branches, is the intelligence of the founding fathers realizing this is how to best accomplish the job.

    Further, challenging it legally is great if people disagree. However, the opinion rendered fell short of appropriate reasoning and long on personal preferences, as regularly and illegally comes out of that circuit.

    As an aside, I have not seen articles from you lately.

  • comments February 14, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    Whoohoo! We gonna get rid of all these illegals and put an end to the moslem invasion. Hopefully we can load up all them anchor babies and ship ’em home with mom and dad. Make America great again!

    • .... February 15, 2017 at 12:32 am

      We’ll as long as your still here nothing changes. ..now if you left that would help

  • dodgers February 14, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    Actually, the courts did not even address the constitutional authority of the president. They only determined that the stay should remain in place and that further legal review would be necessary. When appealed, the 9th circuit has been overruled 88% of the time. Non citizens, not already on U.S. soil, do not have ANY constitutional rights. Look for constitutional authority of our president to prevail.

  • utahdiablo February 14, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    Sorry Hippy, other immigrants from outside our USA Borders, who are not here on our soil do not have Constitutional rights of any kind….we will see you in court and we will win…Obama ruled us by executive order for 8 years…..Daca coming to a end damn soon too

  • commonsense February 14, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    The Ninth Circuit Court is in San Francisco. You know, the home of a transgender police chief and a gay police commissioner. It’s also the home of Nancy Pelosi. Enough said! Oh, BTW 86% of Ninth Court ruling are overturned by the SCOTUS. Can’t wait to get the new justice.

  • Ladyk February 15, 2017 at 12:40 am

    Ed, you are often wrong but this is just ridiculous. How can you claim to be educated and yet still send out this type of colum? I understand that your job is mostly to get a rise out of the reader so as to spur conversation but at some point you have to realize that your disgusting generalization of the law and flat out lies are a detriment to those whom you serve.

    Your premise is just flat out wrong. If you can ignore politics for one minute and simply read the law it is not hard to understand that President Trump has the right to do all he can do to protect this coutry. Those who make the false argument that just because someone is here in this country that they have all the same rights under the constitution that our citizens have are only serving to confuse the issue and miss inform the public. So I realize that you get away with it because you have an “opinion piece” and not thè stricture of an actual informative artice but that doesn’t relieve you of your duty to tell the truth. The entire premise of your article is erroneous. The afore mentioned “honeymoon” time that is usually afforded all new Presidents has been deemed null and void by the Democratic side of the isle. They hit the ground running the day after the election in efforts to raise money in order to bus in professional disruption agents to stage protests. People who go out to talk about the Presidents side are not even allowed to speak before they have to be escorted out because of the childish and disgusting acts of violence and in general thuggish behavior from those on the left. This country is being torn apart and it isn’t because of what President Trump is doing. It’s because your side has absolutely no respect for anyone elses rights. The left side has had their way for 8 years with President Obama and his slurry of offensive and illegal executive orders. Now that the shoe is on the other foot you aren’t so happy now are you.

    Let’s take your argument of the “travel ban” which by the way it isn’t. President Obama was the one to compile the list of coutries to be put on this list. Yet no one one your side had a problem with it then. Your side would argue that the new immigration orders are wrong because they rip families apart and send good people who have haf children here and are not breaking the law. President Obama did upwards of 1000 deportations every week of his.presidency of the exact same people Trump is deporting yet you had no problem with what he did. President Clinton said that allowing open immigration is a threat to this country and not only our way of life but puts in jeopardy out very safety and “SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO HAPPEN” , but you didn’t have a problem with it then. In fact he was praised for looking out for the safety and well being of the citizens. So my question to you is what changed? Other than it being a republican in the Oval office, what changed to cause you to rip this country to shreds? The argument that President Trumps order is illegal no longer holds water because it did not originate from him. Is your side just such sore looses that you are willing to destroy us all to be able to feel good about yourselves?

    Frankly Ed, while I have found several of your articles in the past to be difficult to read I could always say that I could understand why you would see things the way you did. That time has passed. I will no longer make excuses for you. You are distructive and your words are pure lies. You are willing to so totally destroy your reputation and this country because you lost. I realize that it was a big loss and I am sure it hurt. You were all so fI’ll of yourselves and sure you were going to win. So when it all came down to a loss for you it was just simply impossible for you to believe. Now you can’t find a rational bone in your body and I think you should be ashamed of youealeves. You didn’t see us going around bring cars and breaking into buildings when Obama won. We knew flat out he would do more to destroy this country than any other previous president and we were right. Now look at yourselves, you are willing to destroy the most basic rights we have to try to justify your stages of grief. The loss of our Freedom of Speech will devastate the generations to come and when we look back at how it all started it will be traced back to the lies the media told. How those few at the top manipulated us all and decided who they would lie about today. How they could destroy the very fabric our country was made from all in the name of power. Yet the useful idiots will be the ones to really pay the price. We will loathe each other instead of love each other. We must find a way to work with one another even though we disagree on the path to get there, we still need to work for the good. I have hope that when it gets to the fundamentals of what we are as a nation that we do want what is best and that we will work together to build up this nation knowing that we are a nation of laws and we must learn to abide by those laws. Stop looking at who is sitting in that office and focus in on what is said from there. Focus on what.matters not what may be said in a moment of frustration by a friend about the daughter of that friend. Yes it may have been inappropriate for Ms Conway to talk about Ivanka’s clothing line but as humans who share the costs of the struggles of what they are going through, is it really so hard to understand why
    Ms Conway wanted to.support her? People miss speak at times. So what. No harm no foul. She wasnt there as a walking billboard sign for her. Move on to what really matters. Instead of investigations how about you finish up on the approval process for the rest of the cabinet members. Is what Mr Trump really so unreasonable ( remember Clinton and Obama said it first) as to totally shut down our government.

    Listen, I understand how hurt you can feel and how concerned you are about what might happen over the next 4 years. Believe me I understand, but wouldn’t it be better to work towards what is best for our country rather than blow a car up.

    • comments February 15, 2017 at 12:58 pm

      I say we ship all the open borders leftists to the Congo or some other African 3rd world. They’d be more at home there.

      • Ladyk February 17, 2017 at 1:12 am

        comments, while the idea of living in an area with only like minded people seems pleasant enough I can honestly say it also sounds boring. I don’t have to look very far back into my heritage to see that I come from a line of immigrants. I would think that most of us do. So while I completely disagree with open borders I do agree that without someone to challenge our personal belies I dare say we would be greatly lacking in many areas of personal growth and development.

        My husband and I decided to raise our kids here and not in Vegas after he received a job offer. His company was paying us to move and we looked and looked for a home in Vegas. We saw many homes we loved but the minute we left the beautiful home we quickly knew that we were not home. On a stop to buy some food for our trip home we discovered that without looking at one home that was for sale we knew that we were home. We found a lovely home that from the moment we walked in felt like it was made just for us and we knew we were home.

        The reason I am telling this story is because I imagine that this is the same story that millions of people feel every year as they step off a plane, bus or train and syep foot into this amazing country. Just as I feel so blessed to live where I do and have the most wonderful neighbors I imagine that those how arrive here must feel as they experience the blessing to live around the incredible known as Americans. We are a generous group. We know what we have is special and we do want to share it with others. But as is sometimes the case here in Utah we want to surround ourselves with like minded people. But when you give something away to just anybody or let that precious gift be tossed around by just anyone who wants to touch it soon you find that the thing you hold most precious is not so beautiful and shinny anymore. It just doesn’t hd the same value as it did when you kept it high on the shelf and let only a few of the people touch it. We realize how precious it is and we want to share it with everyone but it must be kept in its original form and the only way to do that is to keep it safe from harm.

        Harm comes in many forms. It can come from outsiders who see it as a threat to everything they hold to be precious. The threat can come from inside as those who think the understand its value seek to destroy it so as to not hurt the feelings of all those people who know about this precious thing but can’t come partake of its greatness. Then there is the danger that comes from those who have the gift of partaking of it greatness but they want to change its color or its shape or how brigit it is. They want to take it apart piece by piece and put some of it in one place but take the rest of it and scatter it all around until you can’t even recognize the pieces of this once marvelous work of wonder. So you as the caretaker gather up all of the pieces and you carefully put it back together. Then you put it in a very special place and you want to hide it away, but you know that it.wasn’t meant to be hidden. It is so beautiful and so special, and you realize that a somehow thus beautiful gift needs to be in a safe place. With a beautiful case around it and it needs to have security guard it. You want othere to see it and to emulate it. So you put it in something to keep it protected. Then you get security for it and they guard it day in and day out. But you know that it needs to be seen by others who can testify of its beauty. Without their testimony how can the word of how beautiful it is sread? So people come to this amazing place and they stand in a line so they can buy a ticket to this safe place, so they can see this beautiful thing that you keep to clean and pure. These people come into the safe place and they see the beautiful thing and the love this beautiful thing. So you see this beautiful thing you have and it is in this beautiful place you built and it is safe from many more people to see. When you realize that because you kept this beautiful thing in this beautiful place you know that because of the rules and laws you follow that many more people are able to able to be blessed by seeing this beautiful thing.

        As they look at this beautiful thing in this beautiful place they realize tat because you keep it safe and beautiful they realize that they want it and when they have the chance to finally make their own beautiful thing it will be because they saw yours. They saw how precious it is and how they must take their new precious thing and they must put it in a safe place for all to come see and to understand that in order to keep it beautiful and safe they he to respect it and to do all they can to keep it from being ruined by those that do not yet understand its value and those that would choose to do it harm.

        What we have is precious and whIle we want to share it we also want to protect it. So we teach others how to have what we have but that they can’t take ours away from us. If we as it’s guardians do not keep it safe from harm why would anyone else choose to value it.

        I nows it’s a bit of a ramble but I hope you get my drift. To risk throwing out our rights just because someone who doesn’t value or understand what it means to have freedom of speech or religion or freedom to move around as we choose or to stand up to what we believe in is just to dangerous to not take its safety and security seriously is completely wrong. We need someone who values this country as much as possible as its leader. Whenrs Obama stated that she had never beer been proud of this country than I can tell you that she never had to fight for the right to be in it. We do not have the tI’m to waste on someone who doesn’t value what we already have. To many people have fought and died for it to not be valued to the upmost extent possible.

        I haven’t been this hopeful in a long time. Actually it has been about 8 years. God bless President Trump. May his service to this nation be one that values the great sacrifices that has been made and will continue to be made on her behalf.

        • comments February 17, 2017 at 1:29 pm

          The enemies are the no borders globalists, the leftists and the political and financial elitists, and they really do want to destroy parts of the world with unlimited immigration and destruction of traditional value systems. I don’t even know what their end goal is at this point, but trump exposes them for what they are and it makes them very very nervous.

    • high5 February 17, 2017 at 7:41 am

      I cant figure out why they Employ this Guy. Seriously Unbelievable .

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.