US Attorney William McSwain and President Lincoln March In Center City

Alex Lloyd Gross- Abe Lincoln walks by the Union League as US Attorney William McSwain is in the background.

by Alex Lloyd Gross

The Union League In Philadelphia celebrated Lincoln Day today February 12 ,2020 by having a small parade on Broad Street, followed by a short celebration at Independence Hall.  This is put on close to Lincoln’s birthday each year. this year, Lincoln ( okay, it was an actor portraying the 16th president) walked the mile or so from in front of the Union League  building and down Chestnut Street.

Prior to this parade, US Attorney William McSwain gave some remarks to those in attendance, where he blasted  Mayor Kenney and District Attorney Larry Krasner.  His remarks brought “safe injection sites”  and the idea of sanctuary cities under fire. During those remarks, he said  in part:

Sadly, today, the rule of law is under attack, right here in Philadelphia.  The examples are all around us.  Presently, we have two of the most powerful members of City Council under federal indictment for allegations of selling their office.  The Mayor’s reaction to this is utter indifference.  But the City Council president’s reaction is even worse: he has rewarded both of these Councilmen with a promotion – handing them plum committee assignments and chairmanships.  Yes, these Councilmen are entitled to their day in court, and they will have it.  But these are grave allegations that should not elicit a shrug of the shoulders from our City leaders – especially given the City’s sorry track record of political corruption.  Just to name a few, one of the City’s recent U.S. Congressmen, the City’s previous District Attorney, and the City’s previous Sheriff are all currently sitting in federal prison.  And not too long ago, the most powerful state senator in the City’s history finished serving his federal sentence for 137 felony convictions.

Our City is also subjected to a District Attorney who willfully – even gleefully – ignores entire sections of the criminal code.  This District Attorney’s stated priority is “decarceration,” or in other words, emptying the jails in service of his radical, anti-law enforcement, political ideology.  An ideology which has nothing to do with guilt or innocence, or accountability, or public safety, or justice, or the rule of law.

Our City is further subjected to the radical concept of a so-called “safe injection site,” for the injection of illegal drugs, like heroin.  Any use of heroin for any purpose, anywhere, by anybody, in this country is illegal under federal law – there are no exceptions.  It should be self-evident that setting up a place for the purpose of injecting heroin is a grievous affront to the rule of law.  But we have a Mayor, and a District Attorney, and a handful of loud, misguided activists in our City who think otherwise – because to them, the rule of law is not the foundation of our nation, but rather something to be ignored when it suits their purposes.   

But the most flagrant affront to the rule of law in Philadelphia is its status as a so-called “sanctuary city.”  This is such an absurd concept that it’s hard to even wrap one’s head around it.  A sanctuary city?  Sanctuary from what, exactly?  A sanctuary from the enforcement of federal law.  Yes, a sanctuary from the supreme law of the land, the law that binds our nation together, enacted by our democratically-elected Congress, exercising its authority in our constitutional republic.