Con­tro­ver­sial U.S. travel ban could go to Supreme Court

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - ERIC TUCKER

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.

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