The city of Portland, Oregon is fining the federal government as much as $192,000 and counting for maintaining a fence around the downtown federal courthouse without a permit. Portland continues to fine the feds $500 every 15 minutes for which they keep this fencing up. The city claims not only is it unpermitted fencing but the fencing is obstructing the street outside the courthouse. Federal agents put up this fencing to protect the federal courthouse as part of President Trump's executive order that enables a task force to protect federal buildings, monuments, and memorials from vandalism in the wake of the recent attacks on such structures.
Portland City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly said the city intends to collect!
As of Wednesday at 12 Noon, it has been announced by Governor Kate Brown that federal agents will retreat from the downtown Portland area. The governor claims the federal agents have brought about violence...
With all this being said:
1) Do you agree or disagree with federal intervention in the city's unrest when it comes to vandalism and violent protests?
2) Should the federal government have gotten a "permit" to put up a fence to protect the downtown federal courthouse? Is it needed when it's their duty (coming down from the President) to protect countrywide federal building?
3) Furthermore should Portland have fined the feds for protecting their city and surrounding businesses?
4) Do you think the Trump administration "caved" and gave into the Democrat's demands by retreating?
My take on this is:
1) I agree with federal intervention, especially if the local authorities were not getting the job done. To stand by and allow protesters to destroy public, federal, and even private property and get away with it in the name of "justice" is not acceptable to me so if the local authority is unwilling to step in for whatever reason, then I think a higher authority needs to step in for the sake of the local businesses and residents.
2) Let me preface this take by saying I'm not a legal expert but I have done some research and in normal circumstances, under the Constitution, the primary responsibility for criminal law enforcement lies with the states, not the federal government. With that though, the President has constitutional power when violence rises beyond the resources of state and local authorities. So when local authority fails to quell any violent uprisings, it is the President's responsibility to “take care that the Laws be faithfully executed" and large-scale civil disturbances interfere with the execution of federal laws. Furthermore, really getting in the weeds, The “Republican Form of Government” guarantee clause also requires the federal government to protect the states “against domestic violence" and this unrest in Portland would categorize as that so to me, it appears the federal government does not need the state's "permission" or a permit in this case in Portland. If I were to guess, the fines will get tossed out.
3) No, I don't think fines should have been issued given the fact that the feds have authority to step in when the state and local authority fails to quell violence and appears to have risen beyond the resources of that state and local authority. If the local laws are not being executed, the President has the Constitutional right to intervene on behalf of upholding the law so no to the fines.
4) Yes, I think they caved. Your job is to protect these federal building, such as the courthouse and what do you think will happen when you leave? Do you think the protesters or vandals will just leave the courthouse alone? I don't. I think the building will be vandalized and the city of Portland will do nothing about. I hope that's not the case but I'm inclined to think the city thinks it's the protesters " constitutional right" to vandalize these federal buildings as a way to express themselves. That's basically what Portland City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly said:
I disagree, the feds are the "dangerous" ones. I think it's the other way around. There are not just "peaceful" protesters anymore, there are dangerous protesters vandalizing local courthouses and structures and thus why the federal agents have been brought in to begin with. This City Councilor acts like it was just peaceful protesters holding hands and singing Kumbaya and the big bad federal agents came in to break skulls. False. The reason they came in was because of the violence and destruction that resulted, period. Peaceful protesters do not vandalize nor should not because the second they vandalize they are no longer categorized as "peaceful".
What do you think?