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.
For the WA St. ping list.
Don’t forget NCIS and Navy Secretary Winter, who refuses to review their fubar investigative techniques.
The same enemedia that has leaked national security secrets to undercut Bush and attack his cabinet has slandered the troops.
How did Murtha calling our troops cold blooded murderers, and the NYT, WaPo, Time, etc. all of whom are dedicated Bush enemies, all of whom refer to the ambush by insurgents in Haditha as a massacre by Marines, get twisted in your mind into "Bush imprisons combat soldiers"?
You got BDS in a big, big way, and it's confusing you.
There must be a story behind that story on both the retaining wall and the firing.
All property is held subject to the public’s right of paying just compensation for “taking” the property for a legitimate public purpose. I would think that if the treaty preceeded the patenting of the land, the title to the land was subject to treaty provisions. If it was patented after the treaty, then the treaty prohibitions would be a taking of the right to use and enjoy. If it is substantial enough, then the court of claims could award just compensation. Otherwise, the court may say it was not a taking of the entire use of the property or taking of sufficient value to qualify for compensation.
Don't worry, ma'am. The President will save you!
They can't be fired or demoted. They are union. All he can do is move them laterally or up.
“But do civil servants make $100,000 these days?”
Isn’t it amazing how many citizens in this country actually own property directly on the international border...Both north and south...
Just an observation...
I thought he was fired for a conflict of interest.
He [President Bush] argued that Schornack holds a quasi-judicial position with an international body.
He gets $135,000 a YEAR!!
Read about it somewhere, something to do with his position being covered by an international treaty between the US and Canada. He flat out said the POTUS does not have the authority to fire me!
And another poster said his salary is $135,000 a year!
I doubt that he has “civil service” status....not at that salary. I think there was some guideline under Homeland Security that says he can be fired.
Bush is the commander in chief. He runs the military and the INS and the Justice Department. He could put a stop to it, but he doesn’t give a flip.
treaties won’t mean nothing when we (mexico, USA, canada) are all one bug happy country