*The following is an opinion column by R Muse*
It is with a fair amount of confidence that one can safely assume most Americans understand that when a court issues an order, failure to comply is a crime. Oh, it’s true one can be found in “contempt” of a court for badmouthing a presiding judge to their face, but most contempt charges are for not doing what the court ordered.
One seriously doubts, and it is truly unfortunate, that many Americans actually comprehend that according to the U.S. Constitution, the Judicial branch (the courts) is the ultimate arbiter of what is legal and constitutional, and what is not. It is how America has operated for 239 years as part of the “checks and balances” enshrined in the law of the land and a specific means to prevent an authoritarian tyrant from making and enforcing, or violating at will, laws according to their particular religious or racist bent. In fact, the checks and balances were put in place by the Founding Fathers and Constitution’s Framers specifically to keep a megalomaniac narcissist like Don Trump from ruling America like it is a two-bit banana republic. The whole point is, as Nick Baumann at Huffington Post reminded Americans; “When federal judges rule, government officials – up to and including the president – are supposed to obey or risk being held in contempt of court.”
The reason Trump’s religious Muslim ban has now been cited as “say:
“I am now of the belief that though this was issued by the judicial branch, that it was violated tonight. And so one of the things I will be doing is fighting to make sure that the executive branch abides by the law as it was issued in this state and around the nation. This will be an ongoing battle … I believe it’s a constitutional crisis, where the executive branch is not abiding by the law.”
As HuffPo’s Baumann said, “Obedience to specific court orders is what keeps us from being a banana republic or fascist dictatorship. That’s a really big deal.” With all due respect to Mr. Baumann, it would be a big deal if America wasn’t already waist-deep in the midst of a fascist coup d’état with a banana republic dictator flouting the Constitution when it contradicts his “law.” The only means of sending the Trump a signal that he is not above the law, at least not yet, is hold him in contempt of court and lock him up; at least until he countermands his religious ban against Muslims or rots in a 5×7 cell where criminals belong.