Skip to comments.President fires official over border fence fight
Posted on 07/12/2007 9:13:31 PM PDT by republicpictures
The top American on the International Joint Commission is fired by President Bush. And the reason may be a retaining wall in the Washington border town of Blaine.
The city of Blaine doesn't require a building permit for wall four feet high or shorter. The wall is right around four feet.
The top American and the top Canadian on the boundary commission both say the fence must come down because it is within ten feet of the border line. They say the "no obstructions within ten feet rule" is established by a 1925 treaty.
Shirley-Ann Leu owns the property the wall sits on, and says the wall is not a security issue.
"It's a retaining wall to stop the dirt from going down into the ditch," she said.
But this is not just a wall; it's on the U.S.-Canada border. Federal officials say that's illegal.
"It's on our property," Leu said. "Don't you have a right, as an American, to your own property? You paid for it."
But she got two letters from the official International Boundary Commission telling her that according to a 1925 Treat, fences don't good neighbors make. Federal officials said you've got 45 days to tear it down. The letter was signed, 'Dennis Schornack,' the top American on the International Joint Commission
Apparently the president doesn't agree - he's fired Dennis Schornack. Schornack says he can't be fired. Reportedly, that will be decided in the same lawsuit the Seattle federal court is hearing over the wall itself.
Why would George W. Bush get involved in this? Are the Leus really, really big time Republicans?
"I'm a Canadian," Leu told KOMO 4 News, "born and raised in Calgary, Alberta."
Maybe her husband, Herbert, is more GOP.
"I'm an American, yeah," he said. "Actually, I haven't voted for quite a while now."
The Leus say maybe the president thinks like they do - private property is important and that's why the wall is no big deal.
The Leus say their attorney Brian Hodges from the Pacific Legal Foundation told them about Schornack's firing, but they say he and they aren't sure what that means in the legal battle over the wall. They hope it's over, but they don't know.
Attempting to apply the 1925 treaty to this case is a violation of the “takings” clause in the Fifth Ammendment. Taking private property by treaty is not one of the Enumerated Powers.
Sounds to me like they need to define their terms - this is a “retaining wall,” not a “fence.” And define an “obstruction.” I’m sure this will come about in the case.
He said he could not be fired. Ummmm.....I bet he's wrong. Over $100,000 a year, for doing basically nothing - in his words.
And I would not spit into the wind!
Nice wall, folks! Carry on! Coming over on Sat for the BBQ?
They need to declare it for what it is...
An erosion abatement device! Enlist the envirowackos in their fight. I’m sure the .gov will roll right over, peeing upon themselves like a beta male.
Who gives a crap about an unenforceable treaty? This trumps 5th Amendment rights? What’s Canada going to wage war if it’s not complied with? I bet they don’t even care.
Guarantee you this guy, like almost all northern Washington state bureacrats and politicians, is a rabid left wing Dem.
I could think of a few guys who should preceed this lowly border guy. My suggestions...
The Marine Haditha Prosecutor
It’s about time the President just fired someone for ‘gross stupidity’. I don’t think he needs to fire 100 people though, maybe just 5 a week for the remainder for his term.
Bush imprisons border guards and combat soldiers, but he has time to defend Canadian fence-owners.
The BATF would keep a steady supply of candidates for awhile
In 10 or 20 years, maybe. But it's a nice thought.
>He said he could not be fired.<
Is he a civil servant, and can civil servants be fired now?
But do civil servants make $100,000 these days? WOW! I think some salaries could stand a good shrinking!
My first thought was that he was fired because he was actually getting the fence built.
Mine too. Better stated than me. Thanks. Legal Precedent.
The fence on the us-mexico border, I meant...
“Don’t you have a right, as an American, to your own property?”
No. Now you don’t. Google Kelo. Or simply stop paying your property taxes aka “renting your home from the government.” To find out who really owns your home.