Controversial U.S. travel ban could go to Supreme Court
Rebuffed in its bid for a quick reversal, the White House said Sunday it expected the courts to reaffirm President Donald Trump’s executive power and reinstate a ban on refugees and travellers from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States.
The case promised to extend into Monday at least, when fresh legal filings were due, and observers had no doubt the Supreme Court ultimately will have a say.
The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a brief order overnight Saturday, denied the administration’s request to set aside a Seattle judge’s ruling that put a temporary hold on the ban nationwide.
The lawsuit by Washington state and Minnesota said Trump’s order harmed residents and effectively mandated discrimination. Their lawyers had until 2:59 a.m. ET Monday to submit briefs opposing the government’s request. The Justice Department then had a 6 p.m. ET deadline to respond.
“We’ll accomplish the stay and will win the case on the merits,” Vice-President Mike Pence said.
Members of Trump’s Republican Party scolded him for Twitter attacks on U.S. District Court Judge James Robart, appointed by president George W. Bush, and accused Trump of stepping over the line that separates the executive from the judiciary. To Trump, Robart is a “socalled judge” whose “ridiculous” ruling “will be overturned.”
Trump renewed his Twitter attacks against Robart Sunday: “Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!”
Another tweet said he instructed the Homeland Security Department to check people coming into the country, but that “the courts are making the job very difficult!”
Pence defended Trump, saying “the president can criticize anybody he wants,” adding he believes Americans “find it very refreshing that they not only understand this president’s mind, but they understand how he feels about things.”
At issue is the legality of a presidential action undertaken in the name of national security.
“The president is not a dictator,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. “He is the chief executive of our country.”
The government had told the appeals court that the president alone has the power to decide who can enter or stay in the United States, an assertion that appeared to invoke the wider battle to come over illegal immigration.
Congress “vests complete discretion” in the president to impose conditions on entry of foreigners to the United States, and that power is “largely immune from judicial control,” according to the court filing.
“We don’t appoint judges to our district courts to conduct foreign policy or to make decisions about the national security,” Pence said.
Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, predicted the appeals court would not have the last word.
“I have no doubt that it will go to the Supreme Court, and probably some judgments will be made whether this president has exceeded his authority or not,” she said.
Robart’s ruling said it was not the court’s job to “create policy or judge the wisdom of any particular policy promoted by the other two branches,” but to make sure that an action taken by the government “comports with our country’s laws.”
Mohamed lye hugs daughter Nimo, four, after being reunited with his wife Saido Ahmed Abdille, in the red scarf, and their other daughter Nafiso, two, at Minneapolis-Saint Paul airport, after arriving from Amsterdam on Sunday.