Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Inside the Checkpoints: The good news and the bad news

Inside the Checkpoints
by Jay J. Johnson-Castro, Sr.
Naco, Arizona border wall/Photo Jay J. Johnson-Castro, Sr.

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against Secretary Michael Chertoff, filed by the US-Mexico Border Plaintiffs, ruling in favor of the Federal Government

When it comes to the border wall there is no end of the bad news.
So, the Bad news first. Because the people who reside in Texas along the Mexico border put up a wall of opposition to the building of a Berlin-like wall through their communities, on April 3, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff waived 36 Congressional Acts passed over 109 years by the people’s Congress. Those very same laws were in place to protect the people and our great land from such flagrant violations of the earth and humanity. Chertoff waived those laws in order to build an “iron curtain” of “apartheid” through a community and a culture of Americans.

That did not stop sincere citizens from expressing their horror over such an assault. From El Paso to Brownsville, the people of Texas, who reside in friendship with their family and neighbors along the Mexico border, have stood their ground in the face of an overt assault on their border community. The plaintiffs included the City of El Paso, the County of El Paso, the County of El Paso Water Improvement District No. 1, Hudspeth County Conservation and Reclamation District No. 1, Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo, Frontera Audubon Society, Friends of the Wildlife Corridor, Friends of the Astacosa National Wildlife Refuge and Brownsville gallery owner, Mark Clark. All these joined together in an effort to get an injunction against Chertoff and the destructive border wall construction that would pervert the border communities.

An injunction would have halted the border wall construction along the entire US-Mexico border, from California to Texas. The lawsuit challenged the abuse of the constitutionality of such “mega waiver” powers of one lone political appointee as well as the overreaching powers of the Federal Government that have flagrantly and deceitfully ignored the will of the most affected people, those who reside in the path of the border wall.

The Court’s decision. On the anniversary of 9/11, a new blow was dealt to the United States of America. Yesterday, the Judge Frank Montalvo ruled from the District Court for the Western District of Texas, El Paso Division. He dismissed the lawsuit against Secretary Michael Chertoff, filed by the US-Mexico border plaintiffs and ruled in favor of the Federal Government to dismiss the case entirely, essentially ruling against the people and in favor of preserving the dictatorial powers of the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

The good news! That means that the case can now be appealed ... and this appeal can be filed before the Supreme Court. This is where all legal experts, who recognized the unconstitutionality of the Secretary of Homeland Security’s “waiver powers,” can collectively weigh in.

It is clear that the Supreme Court does not have to hear this case. However, if the Supreme Court does accept an appeal, it will likely not be heard until well into 2009. On one hand, the border wall construction will be allowed to proceed. On the other hand, depending on who the next President is, there might well be no Secretary Chertoff.

What is apparent is that under the present Administration and the current Secretary of DHS, State and Local laws are meaningless. Those laws also were waived along with the 36 Congressional Acts. The people’s Congress, the people’s State legislative laws, county laws and city laws were also waived so Chertoff could forge ahead with a border wall that leads to nowhere. An appeal to the Supreme Court will allow such an argument to be made before the Supreme Justices of this great land.

In all reality, the border wall has not yet been built, let alone completed in Texas, as it has been in the other three Western states.

Some may say that the earlier lawsuit that was appealed to the Supreme Court by the Defenders of Wildlife and the Sierra Club over the San Pedro River region in Arizona was rejected by the Supreme Court. Because of their heavy load, it is not unusual for an issue to be rejected by the Supreme Court several times before the Justices decide to consider the issue.

If the plaintiffs choose to file their appeal, hopefully they will do so soon. That way, many others will be able to rally in support of their fight in every way possible. While the people of the borderlands will put their hopes on the highest court in the land, they will simultaneously work from grassroots levels all the way to Congress in order to reverse what is being inflicted upon their lands and upon them as a people.

The people of the borderlands will prevail against tyranny and flagrant violation of the tenants of a country that proclaims that we are all “endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, namely life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” That too is good news!

Jay J. Johnson-Castro, Sr.
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Censored News is published by censored journalist Brenda Norrell. A journalist for 27 years, Brenda lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, writing for Navajo Times, AP, USA Today, Lakota Times and other American Indian publications. After being censored and then terminated by Indian Country Today in 2006, she began the Censored Blog to document the most censored issues. She currently serves as human rights editor for the U.N. OBSERVER & International Report at the Hague and contributor to Sri Lanka Guardian, Narco News and CounterPunch. She was cohost of the 5-month Longest Walk Talk Radio across America, with Earthcycles Producer Govinda Dalton in 2008: www.earthcycles.net/
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