Trump Travel Ban

Supreme Court upholds Trump travel ban

President Trump’s travel ban is both legal and constitutional, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday, reversing a series of anti-Trump decisions by lower courts and delivering a landmark win for the White House. The 5-4 decision recognizes Mr. Trump has broad powers to block foreigners from entering the U.S., giving the administration a boost as it tries to fend off myriad lawsuits over its get-tough immigration policies. And the court refused to hold Mr. Trump’s tweets and other campaign-era anti-Muslim comments against him now that he’s in office, saying judges usually take the president’s actions on their face. They ruled the travel ban was facially neutral, not the “Muslim ban” his critics had said. “The text says nothing about religion,” Chief Justice John G Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority. Trump critics were enraged, with one saying the ruling would go down as among the worst the high court has ever issued. In the immediate term it means the government may continue to severely restrict entry of citizens of seven countries Mr. Trump and his Cabinet deemed to be uncooperative in sharing information on their travelers. But the ruling also has major implications for the ongoing immigration debates, finding that Congress has clear powers to deny entry to foreigners, and it gave the president wide latitude to exercise those powers. Mr. Trump was “squarely within the scope” of his authority in issuing the travel ban, and gave a sufficient description of his reasons for doing so, the court ruled. “Under these circumstances, the government has set forth a sufficient national security justification to survive rational basis review. We express no view on the soundness of the policy,” the chief justice wrote. “We simply hold today that plaintiffs have not demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits of their constitutional claim.” The court’s four Democratic-appointed justices dissented.

Gee..  Big surprise, lol.  This is a HUGE victory for the rule of law, and for the Constitution.  Excellent!!  For more, click on the text above.    🙂

French: Once Again, Judges Defy the Law to Defy Trump

In the last week, two federal district-court judges in two different federal circuits have issued new injunctions against the Trump administration’s latest “travel ban.” Both injunctions are wrong, but one is dangerously wrong, representing not just an extraordinary act of judicial supremacy but also a cavalier disregard for the Supreme Court of the United States. Before I go any farther, let me add this caveat. One of the judges (Theodore Chuang, from Maryland) is a close friend of mine. I’ve known him since my earliest days of law school, and he’s a man of keen intellect and high integrity. He’s one of Barack Obama’s best appointments to the federal bench. Even the smart and wise can be wrong, however, and he’s wrong in this case. But first, some background. We are now on our third travel-ban executive order. The Trump administration withdrew the first one (we’ll call it EO-1) after poor drafting and incompetent and possibly even malicious implementation created chaos in airports nationwide and contributed to a wave of court injunctions blocking its enforcement. While court cases were still pending against EO-1, the Trump administration went back to the drawing board and crafted a second executive order, EO-2. Both EO-1 and EO-2 temporarily blocked immigration from multiple jihadist or jihadist-dominated nations, and both orders required the Department of Homeland Security to conduct a review to determine whether the United States needed additional information from any given country to determine whether a potential immigrant or visitor represented a security threat to the United States. Plaintiffs of course challenged EO-2, and it was also enjoined — first in district courts and then in federal courts of appeal. These decisions were extraordinary on a number of fronts — so unusual that they constituted a unique kind of jurisprudence. I called it “Trumplaw.” In essence, judges were abandoning common standing rules, rereading binding precedent, and sometimes even ignoring controlling authority to rule against Donald Trump. They were acting less as judges and more as particularly potent members of the #Resistance. On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court restored a degree of judicial order. It didn’t rule on the merits of the case, but its per curiam (unanimous) decision was instructive nonetheless. First, it lifted the injunction on the vast bulk of the travel ban, keeping in place protections only for those immigrants or visitors with “bona fide relationships with a person or entity in the United States.” Second, it rejected judicial claims that individuals or entities in the United States could somehow represent the interests of the tens of millions of potential immigrants who don’t have any current tie to the United States. Here’s the Supreme Court: “The interest in preserving national security is “an urgent objective of the highest order.” Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, 561 U. S. 1, 28 (2010). To prevent the Government from pursuing that objective by enforcing [the travel ban] against foreign nationals unconnected to the United States would appreciably injure its interests, without alleviating obvious hardship to anyone else.” The justices thus freed the Trump administration to impose the lion’s share of its temporary travel ban while the administration conducted its review of foreign information-sharing capabilities and processes, and on September 24 it issued a new order (EO-3) responding to the results of that review. According to the order, the secretary of homeland security had identified seven countries that were “inadequate” not just in providing information but also in other security provisions. The secretary recommended immigration restrictions that “would help address the threats that the countries’ identity-management protocols, information-sharing inadequacies, and other risk factors pose to the security and welfare of the United States.” While the recommended restrictions were indefinite, they were not necessarily supposed to be permanent. As the order notes, the restrictions “also encourage the countries to work with the United States to address those inadequacies and risks so that the restrictions and limitations imposed by this proclamation may be relaxed or removed as soon as possible.” The order placed significant restrictions immigration and entry from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, and Somalia. Critically, only the North Korean and Syrian restriction constituted a total ban on entry (and even the total ban could be waived on a case-by-case basis). The rest of the nations faced varying degrees of restrictions but no total ban. For each nation, the order outlined the deficiencies that increase the threat to the United States. For example, regarding Iran, the order notes that it “regularly fails to cooperate with the United States Government in identifying security risks, fails to satisfy at least one key risk criterion, is the source of significant terrorist threats, and fails to receive its nationals subject to final orders of removal from the United States.” Even so, the order permits entry under valid student visas (with enhanced screening). Plaintiffs promptly challenged EO-3, and the two rulings partially blocking its enforcement — one from Hawaii, and one from Maryland — are wrong in distinct ways. Let’s deal with the worst first: Judge Derrick Watson’s ruling in Honolulu. Simply put, it’s 40 pages of judicial defiance. To understand the extent of Judge Watson’s malfeasance, one has to linger over the actual words of the governing statute: “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.” How does one get from there — a statute empowering the president to “suspend the entry” of “any class of aliens” when he (not the court) finds their entry would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States” — to a ruling stopping him from exercising exactly that power? When the judge decides it’s entirely up to him to evaluate the president’s reasoning according to the judge’s perception of American interests. Time and again throughout the opinion, the judge suggests alternative policies, wonders at the exclusion or inclusion of different countries, and acts far more like a Homeland Security bureaucrat debating the wisdom of various policy proposals than a judge determining whether the plain language of a very simple statute applies. Yes, the president made findings. They’re on the face of the document. Moreover, those findings happen to be true. Iran is the “source of significant terrorist threats.” Yemen does have “significant identity-management challenges.” They are “amplified by the notable terrorist presence within its territory.” The fact that the judge would prefer a different kind of response does not negate the president’s clear statutory authority.

Precisely!!  And that, really, is the bottom line here.  The President has not only the statutory authority, but the constitutional authority as well!  It’s not even remotely moot. And, they have brazenly defied the Supreme Court.  This spot-on, legal analysis was written by attorney, and Army Reserve officer (Major), David French.  David was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq.  To read the rest of this excellent piece, click on the text above.

In victory for Trump, Supreme Court dismisses travel ban case

The Supreme Court dismissed a major challenge to President Trump’s travel ban on majority-Muslim countries Tuesday because it has been replaced by a new version, sending the controversy back to the starting block. The ruling is a victory for the Trump administration, which had asked the court to drop the case after Trump signed a proclamation Sept. 24 that replaced the temporary travel ban on six nations with a new, indefinite ban affecting eight countries. That action made the court challenge moot, the justices ruled. “We express no view on the merits,” the justices said in a one-page order. The decision effectively wipes the record clean in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, one of two federal appeals courts that had struck down major portions of Trump’s travel ban. That case began in Maryland. A separate case from the 9th Circuit, based in California, remains pending because it includes a ban on refugees worldwide that won’t expire until later this month. But the Supreme Court is likely to ditch that case, which began in Hawaii, as well. The challengers in both cases already have renewed their lawsuits in the lower courts, starting the legal process anew. In Maryland, a federal district court has scheduled a new hearing for next week. But the new travel ban and the Supreme Court’s order vacating the 4th Circuit appeals court judgment puts the administration in a somewhat stronger position, at least for now.

Let’s hope that position remains strong.  Kudos to the Supremes for this sound decision.  We’ll of course continue to keep an eye on this story which continues to develop…

Supreme Court allows Trump Administration ban on most refugees

The Supreme Court is allowing the Trump administration to maintain its restrictive policy on refugees. The justices on Tuesday agreed to an administration request to block a lower court ruling that would have eased the refugee ban and allowed up to 24,000 refugees to enter the country before the end of October. The order was not the court’s last word on the travel policy that President Donald Trump first rolled out in January. The justices are scheduled to hear arguments on Oct. 10 on the legality of the bans on travelers from six mostly Muslim countries and refugees anywhere in the world. It’s unclear, though, what will be left for the court to decide. The 90-day travel ban lapses in late September and the 120-day refugee ban will expire a month later. The administration has yet to say whether it will seek to renew the bans, make them permanent or expand the travel ban to other countries.

One can only hope..    Regardless,  we’ll take the short-term win.  Kudos to the Supremes for this excellent,  constitutionally-sound, decision.  We just hope it becomes permanent next month!