Another day, another rank attack on basic constitutional principles from Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump. Trump's latest comes in response to last week's terrorist attacks in Paris. "Nobody wants to say this and nobody wants to shut down religious institutions or anything," Trump told Fox News, but the U.S. will have "absolutely no choice" but to shut down some mosques. Trump also said he was open to the idea of forcing Muslim-Americans to carry a special government identification card and forcing Muslim-Americans to register in a national government database. Can FDR-style internment camps for Muslim-Americans be far behind?
So much for the First Amendment and its pesky language guaranteeing the free exercise of religion.
Regrettably, this is not Donald Trump's first assault on the Constitution. In addition to his calls for suppressing religious freedom, Trump has repeatedly trashed the 14th Amendment as part of his campaign to suppress immigration. On top of that, Trump has repeatedly trashed the Fifth Amendment, endorsing a boundless definition of eminent domain power that would effectively delete the words "for public use" from the Constitution, thereby granting government officials (and their crony capitalist allies like Trump) a virtual blank check to seize whatever private property they happen to want.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: "Trump's vision of untrammeled government power is an affront to the very idea of constitutionally limited government."