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GOP proposes bill that would suspend ALL laws
by valabor <http://dailykos.com/user/valabor>
Fri Feb 4th, 2005 at 22:54:48 PST

This is probably the wrong time of day to post something like this. 
 But it needs to get out there.  Please recommend this diary to keep 
it on the front page.

On January 26, 2005, Rep. Sensenbrenner introduced the REAL ID Act of 
2005 (H.R. 418).  In the name of homeland security, it includes a 
number of items changing immigration laws, use of drivers' licenses, etc.

But -- most overlooked -- is Section 102 of this bill.  It would 
empower the Secretary of Homeland Security to suspend any and all laws 
in order to ensure the "expeditious" construction of a set of barriers 
and roads south of San Diego, to keep illegal immigrants out.  It also 
would prohibit ANY judicial review of the Secretary of Homeland 
Security's decision to suspend any law. ON EDIT: While the law the 
bill references mentions barriers and roads "near San Diego," it does 
not appear to be (technically speaking) limited to that area -- but to 
any barriers or roads "in the vicinity of the United States border." 
(See comments below).

The text of Section 102 is below:

Diaries <http://dailykos.com/section/Diary> :: valabor's diary 
<http://valabor.dailykos.com/> ::

SEC. 102. WAIVER OF LAWS NECESSARY FOR IMPROVEMENT OF BARRIERS AT 
BORDERS.

Section 102(c) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant 
Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1103 note) is amended to read as 
follows:

`(c) Waiver-

`(1) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the 
Secretary of Homeland Security shall have the authority to waive, and 
shall waive, all laws such Secretary, in such Secretary's sole 
discretion, determines necessary to ensure expeditious construction of 
the barriers and roads under this section.

`(2) NO JUDICIAL REVIEW- Notwithstanding any other provision of law 
(statutory or nonstatutory), no court shall have jurisdiction--

`(A) to hear any cause or claim arising from any action undertaken, or 
any decision made, by the Secretary of Homeland Security pursuant to 
paragraph (1); or

`(B) to order compensatory, declaratory, injunctive, equitable, or any 
other relief for damage alleged to arise from any such action or 
decision.'.

What does this mean?  What laws might the Secretary of Homeland 
Security suspend?

The first obvious sets of laws that would come under attack would be 
environmental and labor laws.  On the environmental side, think 
"Endangered Species Act."  On the labor side, think "Davis-Bacon" 
prevailing wage laws and the right to organize and collectively 
bargain.  

Also think "whistleblower laws."  Homeland Security wouldn't want any 
pesky do-gooders blowing the whistle on corruption in contract awards.

But wait, would all of these suspensions only apply to the physical, 
on-location construction of the roads and barriers?

Nope!  There's no such limitation in the law.  You can follow this 
right to suspend the laws anywhere someone might be claiming legal 
rights and slowing down the process.  The manufacturers of equipment 
and materials would certainly fall under this provision, for example. 
 The government workers dealing with any aspect of this construction, 
in Washington or California or wherever would also fall under this 
provision.  A city council objecting to something about the project 
could fall under this provision.

It's an incredible usurpation of the rule of law.  A cabinet secretary 
is given the right to suspend any and all laws.  And guess what?  The 
courts are prohibited from reviewing his decision!  Perfect!  So the 
Secretary can abuse his "authority" all he wants.  No review.  No 
nothing.  Welcome to the Second Term.

Let me repeat the language:

"the Secretary of Homeland Security shall have the authority to waive, 
and shall waive, all laws such Secretary, in such Secretary's sole 
discretion"

Again:

"the Secretary of Homeland Security shall have the authority to waive, 
and shall waive, all laws such Secretary, in such Secretary's sole 
discretion"

Got it?

The bill may be going to the House floor next week. ON EDIT: Here's a 
link to the bill: HERE 
<http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c109:6:./temp/%7Ec109XtLfwh::>



http://dailykos.com/story/2005/2/5/15448/41910




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