A noted Harvard Law professor says what President Donald Trump’s secret police force is doing in Portland may be “unconstitutional and unlawful.”
Trump’s paramilitary, camouflaged, masked, non-insigniaed, non-name-tagged, highly-weaponized SWAT teams operate at the direction of Homeland Security acting Secretary Chad Wolf.
Professor Noah Feldman, who is also a Bloomberg Opinion columnist, asks, “Can Trump Send Federal Agents into Oregon? Not to Police Streets.”
He writes that “it is unconstitutional and unlawful for DHS officers to enforce non-federal law unless they are deputized by state or local officials — not the president — to do so. And Portland officials, far from making the DHS officers into deputies, have instead publicly expressed their outrage at the officers’ presence and demanded their removal.”
What is clear is the federal government has the legal authority and responsibility to enforce federal law and protect federal property.
But that does not extend to non-federal lands and assets.
If a protestor spray paints graffiti on a federal courthouse (apparently a crime so grievous DHS chief Wolf has to send in the feds, literally, to occupy Portland,) federal law enforcement agents can arrest the alleged perpetrator.
If a protestor spray paints graffiti on a state courthouse, federal law enforcement agents cannot arrest the alleged perpetrator unless they have also committed federal crimes.
Read Feldman’s entire piece here.
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