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Tag Archive: Trump Administration

Unconstitutional Motives: When US Policies Are Motivated Only in Part by Religious Discrimination


Few would dispute that government actions motivated wholly by religion violate the Constitution’s Establishment Clause. The question becomes more complicated if the motives are mixed because the challenged government action also furthers a secular interest, such as national security. The answer to this tricky question, according to longstanding Establishment Clause doctrine, is that constitutionality depends on the government’s primary motive.…   continue »

Censorship at the Border Threatens Free Speech Everywhere

Defending one’s political and religious beliefs to government officials is an obligation we associate with life in authoritarian regimes, not open societies.  It’s becoming common, though, for foreign citizens who visit the United States—and even for Americans returning home after travel abroad—to be interrogated about their beliefs by customs and border personnel.…   continue »

What Military Actions Are Trump’s vs. Obama Holdovers?


President Donald Trump has been in office for 83 days, and almost everywhere you look, the US military is escalating its operations. US warships are steaming toward North Korea, airstrikes against al-Qaeda in Yemen have ramped up, and, in the biggest show of force so far, the Trump administration bombed a Syrian airfield last week.  continue »

Tracking the White House’s Reasons for Bombing Syria


The Trump administration has offered a handful of reasons why it decided to bomb a Syrian government airfield last week. The Department of Defense says the strike damaged or destroyed “fuel and ammunition sites, air defense capabilities, and 20 percent of Syria’s operational aircraft,” but the Trump administration acknowledges that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad maintains the capacity to commit further chemical weapons attacks, and that damaging this one airfield, from which it says Syria launched last week’s sarin gas attack, did not eliminate the threat altogether.  continue »

Trump’s Muddled Message on Human Rights and Security


It seems that President Donald Trump and his Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, have their wires crossed yet again. The president, despite strong objections from human rights activists and many foreign policy professionals, hosted Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi this week at the White House, even referring to him as a “fantastic guy.” The visit coincided with the first working day of the United States’ rotating presidency of the UN Security Council.  …   continue »

‘America First’ Leaves the Border Behind

Border security is a concept that, among Americans, usually conjures up images of dusty, desert expanses in our southwest.  Maybe it includes a cactus or a dark-green clad Border Patrolman on horseback or standing near his truck, seemingly at the ready to catch the next illegal immigrant, drug mule or terrorist crossing the U.S.-Mexican border.…   continue »