“Anti-American”? House Members Move To Condemn Rep. Omar In Resolution

440px-Ilhan_Omar,_official_portrait,_116th_CongressI have recently been highly critical of reports that Rep. Iihan Omar (D., Minn.) has given up to one million dollars in campaign funds to her own husband’s company, one of the long-standing loopholes for corruption in Washington.  Omar has been highly controversial for her positions and statements but this should be a matter that unifies people across the political spectrum. However, the attention of her colleagues has not been on closing this loophole but instead on lashing out at her recent call for the “dismantling the whole system of oppression” in the United States from its economic to political structures. A resolution, introduced by Rep. Andy Biggs (R., Ariz) would denounce Omar for having “a documented history of expressing anti-American sentiments.”  The resolution is a mistake that undermines both free speech and democratic values.  It should be withdrawn.

Omar recently declared:

“We are not merely fighting to tear down the systems of oppression in the criminal justice system. We are fighting to tear down systems of oppression that exist in housing, in education, in health care, in employment, in the air we breathe. As long as our economy and political systems prioritize profit without considering who is profiting, who is being shut out, we will perpetuate this inequality,” she said. “We cannot stop at the criminal justice system, we must begin the work of dismantling the whole system of oppression wherever we find it.”

Many commentators and fellow members immediately denounced Omar’s positions. It was an example of how free speech is meant to work.  Omar’s speech was met with counter speech.

However, members now want a formal censure or condemnation from the House as a whole. It is obviously not going to happen with the Democratically controlled house. Yet, the resolution itself is a concern for what it says about the right of members to voice their views of the inherent flaws or abuses of our system. I do not happen to agree with Omar but I find the resolution far more concerning than her hyperbolic comments.

The resolution denounces Omar for advocating “a Marxist form of government that is incompatible with the principles laid out in the founding documents of the United States.”

As a Democratic nation, members have every right to call for sweeping reforms, even changing the emphasis or structure of our economic and political system.  Omar has become a member of Congress to seek such changes lawfully and constitutionally.  To her credit, she has overcome much in her life to attain her position in Congress and has become a global figure of influence.  I do not agree with her and will oppose many of her proposals.  However, we are all working within a constitutional structure that allows for and protects different visions for this country.

It is not enough to say that such resolution are just an exercise of free speech for other members.  These members are seeking to use the imprimatur of their house to denounce political opponents.  I have long opposed the use of such institutional statements, including most recently the effort on my own faculty to denounce Attorney General Bill Attorney as a law school institution.  Individual members, like faculty members, are free to join as individuals in such statements.  It is a misuse of the Congress to use resolution to denounce those with opposing political or economic views.

It is also a practice that makes for poor legislative cultures.  The House Democrats could endlessly pass resolutions condemning their opponents as racists or fascists.  Since these resolutions do not take any concrete action, courts are likely to view the matters as outside of the realm of judicial review or lacking a cognizable injury for judicial relief.  The result is to further the stifling intolerance for opposing views that we are seeing across the country, particularly on our campuses.  This becomes an insatiable appetite to use our institutions to denounce or silence or marginalize those with opposing views. The way to defend our system is not to use the Congress to denounce political opponents. We have gone through ugly periods like the Red Scare where such condemnations were comment and members used their institutional power to intimidate or coerce those with dissenting views.

The greatest “anti-American” threat to our freedoms is the effort to oppose or chill the exercise of free speech, particularly by a political leader.  The debate started by Omar is the ultimate example of our core values.  We can disagree with each other while affirming our right to call for and seek changes within our system.  The use of institutional resolutions of censure or condemnation undermine those values.  Members, like free speech, require space.  Indeed, in New York Times v. Sullivan, Justice William Brennan noted that “the freedoms of expression” require “breathing space…to survive.”

I do not question the sincere feelings of anger of these sponsors but they should withdraw this resolution in the interests of the very American values that they cite.


84 thoughts on ““Anti-American”? House Members Move To Condemn Rep. Omar In Resolution”

  1. I fear the slope, or cliff as it were. If all these egregious comments or threats are allowed to continue with impunity, then just how far can it be accepted to go? Because you know it will continue and escalate with impunity; it’s a given. After all, it is radicalism’s way.

  2. It never gets old – this bleating about oppression from a corrupt politician turned millionaire who’s no better than a tick feasting on the opportunities and wealth present in the United States of America.

    What kind of idiot votes these creatures into office?

    1. The kind that are devotees of the communist or some other socialist type of manifestos. And she isn’t even a legally elected and seated representative thanks to Comrade Pelosi.

    2. well-said. The brilliant people of Minnesota voter her in…does that explain it for you? Yeah.

  3. I recently watched a compilation of interviews with prominent black conservatives, such as Thomas Sowell.

    One of the topics was freedom. It’s an ideal. But people don’t long for freedom. They long to be taken care of. Being free is hard. You are responsible for your reputation, how hard you work in school, your job, being law abiding, raising your kids. There is no one to blame if it’s all on you.

    The Left is a form of slavery. Give up your freedoms, and government will take care of you. The Left longs and agitates to give government responsibility for their own lives. Then all they have to do is complain about the quality of care, without having any personal responsibility. But government is a poor substitute for a father. No one thrives on government care. It’s all a false promise.

    Be free.

    How far you and yours go in life depends on if your family’s subculture values the behaviors that lead to success – doing well in school, working hard, going to college or a trade school, getting a job, waiting to start a family until you’re married. Regardless of whether your parents valued these behaviors, at some point, you turn 18. Then it’s on you. What kind of adult are you going to be? Do you want government to be your master, or do you want to be master of your own fate? Is there anything YOU can do to improve your lot? Or do you always want to be helpless, and blame someone else for not taking better care of you…as an adult?

    1. I recall the big hoopla after 911 when the media falsely said the public didn’t care about anything except keep us safe. So Question 20 years later. How do you like having to use anti Nazi spray just to fly on an airplane?

    2. It seems there are lots of folks who come to America not to be free, but to exploit our goodwill and find loopholes in our laws that allow them to subvert our government to be, in the end, more like the one they fled I guess. I don’t understand what Rep Omar wants, but it isn’t what we stand for. I’d be just as happy if she were replaced; she’s on my LONG list of people who don’t represent me and I wish they were out of office. LONG list…

  4. I have a colleague that is Muslim and naturalized citizen from Egypt. We discussed this story and he had this to say about Omar. When his family, including his mother, became U.S. citizens and took the oath, he reviewed the oath with his mother to make certain she understood exactly what she was swearing to. It says:

    I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.

    He pointed out this is the first oath Omar took and then as required, she took an additional oath to become a member of Congress:

    I, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

    His point was clear and he stated as much: Omar clearly hates the country she has sworn allegiance to. She never intended to honor that oath as a private citizen and she is actively working, through the protection of her position in our government, to destroy the constitutional order she has sworn an oath to support and defend. Not only should Omar be formally denounced by the House, she should be removed from office, stripped of her citizenship and sent back to Somalia. She is the operational definition of an enemy of the state. Defending her actions on the grounds of free speech is an insult to every honorable American that has ever fought against foreign enemies. To somehow assert we need to honor her constitutional rights as she undermines our constitution is a suicidal interpretation of the founder’s intent of a representative republic.

    1. Her days in Congress are numbered. In Minneapolis (her district) the Somali community has been appalled at the treatment of her husband and family as she ditched them (threatening her husband through his job for another pol) in order to take up with her then married campaign consultant for whom she has been diverting all her campaign funds. Also, the vast proportion of the MN Jewish community is in her district and they are not going to accept her lies about having nothing against Israel again. Her primary opponent has outraised her significantly while people hear how she has commandeered a food shelf donation program for donations and has pilfered the $million referred to above. She is gone after 2020.

  5. So Professor, what would constitute a legitimate charge of “Treason” based solely on the speech? Or have the treasonous among us figured that as long as they appear to have no organized force when they burn down sites in Washington DC, something that could be considered an act of war, they will get off with being charged with property damage?

  6. Under consideration of actual American “original intent,” the point is moot concerning this illegitimate entity within U.S. borders. Were it not for the illegitimate national disaster, abomination and aberration, “Crazy Abe” Lincoln’s wholly unconstitutional “Reign of Terror,” the legislation of the Founders, the Naturalization Acts of 1790, 1795, 1798 and 1802, would still be in full force and effect requiring citizens to be “…free white person(s)…,” and, most certainly, the freed slaves et al. would have been compassionately repatriated, for their own benefit, per ideas promoted as early as 1714.

    To wit,

    “Earlier Resettlement Plans”

    “The view that America’s apparently intractable racial problem should be solved by removing Blacks from this country and resettling them elsewhere — “colonization” or “repatriation” — was not a new one. As early as 1714 a New Jersey man proposed sending Blacks to Africa. In 1777 a Virginia legislature committee, headed by future President Thomas Jefferson (himself a major slave owner), proposed a plan of gradual emancipation and resettlement of the state’s slaves. In 1815, an enterprising free Black from Massachusetts named Paul Cuffe transported, at his own expense, 38 free blacks to West Africa. His undertaking showed that at least some free Blacks were eager to resettle in a country of their own, and suggested what might be possible with public and even government support.7”

    “In December 1816, a group of distinguished Americans met in Washington, DC, to establish an organization to promote the cause of Black resettlement. The “American Colonization Society” soon won backing from some of the young nation’s most prominent citizens. Henry Clay, Francis Scott Key, John Randolph, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Bushrod Washington, Charles Carroll, Millard Fillmore, John Marshall, Roger B. Taney, Andrew Jackson, Daniel Webster, Stephen A. Douglas, and Abraham Lincoln were members. Clay presided at the group’s first meeting.8

    “Measures to resettle Blacks in Africa were soon undertaken. Society member Charles Fenton Mercer played an important role in getting Congress to pass the Anti-Slave Trading Act of March 1819, which appropriated $100,000 to transport Blacks to Africa. In enforcing the Act, Mercer suggested to President James Monroe that if Blacks were simply returned to the coast of Africa and released, they would probably be re-enslaved, and possibly some returned to the United States. Accordingly, and in cooperation with the Society, Monroe sent agents to acquire territory on Africa’s West coast — a step that led to the founding of the country now known as Liberia. Its capital city was named Monrovia in honor of the American President.9

    “With crucial Society backing, Black settlers began arriving from the United States in 1822. While only free Blacks were at first brought over, after 1827, slaves were freed expressly for the purpose of transporting them to Liberia. In 1847, Black settlers declared Liberia an independent republic, with an American-style flag and constitution.10

    “By 1832 the legislatures of more than a dozen states (at that time there were only 24), had given official approval to the Society, including at least three slave-holding states.11 Indiana’s legislature, for example, passed the following joint resolution on January 16, 1850:12

    ‘Be it resolved by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana: That our Senators and Representatives in Congress be, and they are hereby requested, in the name of the State of Indiana, to call for a change of national policy on the subject of the African Slave Trade, and that they require a settlement of the coast of Africa with colored men from the United States, and procure such changes in our relations with England as will permit us to transport colored men from this country to Africa, with whom to effect said settlement.’

    “In January 1858, Missouri Congressman Francis P. Blair, Jr., introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives to set up a committee

    ‘to inquire into the expediency of providing for the acquisition of territory either in the Central or South American states, to be colonized with colored persons from the United States who are now free, or who may hereafter become free, and who may be willing to settle in such territory as a dependency of the United States, with ample guarantees of their personal and political rights.’

    “Blair, quoting Thomas Jefferson, stated that Blacks could never be accepted as the equals of Whites, and, consequently, urged support for a dual policy of emancipation and deportation, similar to Spain’s expulsion of the Moors. Blair went on to argue that the territory acquired for the purpose would also serve as a bulwark against any further encroachment by England in the Central and South American regions.13”

    – Robert Morgan

    Naturalization Acts of 1790, 1795, 1798 and 1802

    United States Congress, “An act to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization,” March 26, 1790

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That any Alien being a free white person, who shall have resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States for the term of two years, may be admitted to become a citizen thereof…

  7. Given that members of Congress swear an oath to uphold the constitution, and the constitution forms the basis for the alleged “systems of oppression”, Representative Omar so vehemently rails against, it could be argued that she is indicating that she is willing not to uphold the constitution.

  8. We do not believe Rep. Andy Biggs Resolution denouncing Rep. Iihan Omar and her Marxist advocations should be withdrawn!! She and her anti-American sentiments call for the destruction of our country as we know it and changed to one she and her Marxist cohorts want to have! SHE is the one who should be withdrawn from her position in Washington! She needs to be condemned and forced to give up her position.

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Res ipsa loquitur – The thing itself speaks
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