I hate, hate, hate it when folks smugly compare Canada to the US and say Canada is better or vice versa. Both are generally quite great places, and vary across time and place and among people, so most Canada > US arguments or US > Canada arguments are dumb. But I can't help myself today. Why? Rule of Law. How so?
Today, word came out at the Liberal government is going to apologize to and pay Omar Khadar $10 million plus for not doing enough for him when the Americans were torturing him. Trudeau is paying for the sins of his predecessors--Chretien, Martin and Harper, and there are no votes to be gained for doing so. Compelled by a court decision, the government is paying out a heap of cash to a guy who belongs to an unlikable family. But pay Trudeau will because that is what the rule of law requires.
At this moment, the rule of law is probably under greater attack than any time since when? The Civil War? Trump has consistently blasted the courts for daring to rule against him. He defies the Constitution by taking cash from foreign governments. His people craft executive orders with very little concern for the law. The latest? That when the Supreme Court rules that the immigrant ban (the Muslim ban) can be allowed to be enacted under specific limits--those with a bona fide connection to the US must be allowed in--Trump's administration tailors the notion of bona fide much, much more narrowly than the Court seemed to indicate. Which means more lawsuits, more appeals and more rulings.
Eventually, somebody bringing the emoulements case will be considered to have standing (my bet is on Maryland and DC), and then we shall see what happens. The problem is that we have serious doubts that Trump will obey a court order. That his family is above the law, as Kushner still has a security clearance despite his Russian dalliances, that Trump still owns a hotel on federal property, and on and on.
So, on this Fourth of July, I can't help but marvel at the juxtaposition--a government doing what is right even though it is bad politics because that is what the law demands versus an administration that is beyond the law thanks to a feckless GOP. It ain't a good look, America.
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