The rule of law is crumbling.
A federal court in Washington state suspended a rule prohibiting police from using chemical weapons against protesters.
A federal court in Oregon would not grant the state of Oregon standing to protect its citizens from militarized federal police.
Another court in Oregon has ruled that news organizations must turn over to the police photographs and video of the demonstrations — a clear violation of the First Amendment.
The Portland police department has begun declaring protests to be riots. This allows the city police to use chemical weapons, alongside those used by federal forces. A riot declaration is also a good segue way for Mr. Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act, allowing him more scope for militarized intervention.
Mr. Trump is sending reinforcements to Portland. The Department of Homeland Security is loyal to Mr. Trump personally, not to the Constitution. Mark Morgan, the senior official performing the duties of the commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) enthusiastically said, “I fully 100% support the President and the White House administration with respect to the rule of law” while justifying militarized police behaviors and legal maneuvering that violate the rule of law.
Not mentioned in this The New Yorker article: Mr. Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Section 1021(b)(2) of which allows the indefinite detention of US citizens at home or abroad without due process or trial. Potentially, this could provide legal cover for military detentions in the cities federal forces invade.
Section 1021(b)(2) was meant to be used against terrorists or those who aid terrorists, but Mr. Trump and Mr. Barr have both said they consider Antifa to be a terrorist organization. There is no process for declaring a domestic group to be a terrorist organization (and Antifa is a movement, not an organization), but I have no confidence that our institutions or laws will inhibit such a declaration.
Portland’s mothers have been deemed “anarchists who hate our country” by Mr. Trump.