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ACLU Comment on Donald Trump's Call to Ban Muslims From Entering United States


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Unfortunately, declaring a government action as "unconstitutional" does nothing to prevent government from engaging in such action. Firstly the Constitution must be interpreted. And interpretations change over time and from one context to another. One example of this is the re-interpretation of Amendment II from states' right to maintain a "well-ordered militia" (itself somewhat of an anachronism, given the massive resources directed at the federal military) to individual citizen's rights to possess unlimited caches of firearms. Secondly, apart from such changes in SCOTUS' interpretation of what is/isn't Constitutiona, the executive branch has become adept at simply repackaging such action with a new label, thus circumventing the letter of the law but clearly violating the spirit/intention behind the law. This began in earnest when wars conducted by the Executive branch suddenly ceased to be labeled as such and became "defensive actions", "police actions", or "miiltary exercises" and such-like ("Wars" need congressional approval; "police actions", "military exercises", and the like, don't). If Trump becomes POTUS, we might thus expect anticipate seeing efforts to repackage/rebrand Islam from its accepted status as a "religion" to something else, perhaps a "cult" or a "primitive belief system", or an "alien ideology". Discrimination against members of "alien ideology" is not prohibited by the Constitution and thus the Executive can proceed with its intended action, much as it continued to "torture" (repackaged as "enhanced interrogation") incarcerated prisoners (repackaged as "detainees") and thus escaped scrutiny by SCOTUS. Given that this kind of cynical -but highly successful- manipulation of language has been going on for decades, it's surprising anybody bothers to claim that any given action is, or is not, constitutional or continues to believe that the Constitution offers protection against tyranny.