Gor­such wel­comes new cit­i­zens in Bay Area

Lodi News-Sentinel - - State - By Sud­hin Thanawala

SAN FRAN­CISCO — A U.S. Supreme Court justice who was in fa­vor of com­pletely re­in­stat­ing Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s ban on trav­el­ers from six mostly Mus­lim coun­tries wel­comed new U.S. cit­i­zens on Mon­day, en­cour­ag­ing them to tol­er­ate dif­fer­ent points of view and re­spect peo­ple with whom they dis­agree.

“Democracy de­pends on our will­ing­ness to hear and re­spect even those we dis­agree with strongly,” U.S. Supreme Court As­so­ciate Justice Neil Gor­such told the cit­i­zens fol­low­ing a nat­u­ral­iza­tion cer­e­mony at the 9th Cir­cuit’s ju­di­cial con­fer­ence. “In a gov­ern­ment by and for the peo­ple, we have to re­mem­ber those with whom we dis­agree, even ve­he­mently, still have the best in­ter­ests of the coun­try at heart.”

Gor­such’s visit comes as the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion asks the high court to again weigh in on its ban on trav­el­ers from six mostly Mus­lim coun­tries. Gor­such was among three jus­tices who said in June that the ban should be com­pletely re­in­stated pend­ing ar­gu­ments be­fore the high court, and the justice could not es­cape dis­cus­sion of the ban dur­ing his visit to the 9th Cir­cuit con­fer­ence.

With Gor­such seated next to her, an Alaska high school stu­dent ear­lier in the day read her win­ning es­say on Ja­panese in­tern­ment — a topic selected by the 9th Cir­cuit.

Olivia Tafs, 15, com­pared the treat­ment of Mus­lims af­ter the Sept. 11 at­tacks to that of Ja­panese-Amer­i­cans dur­ing World War II. She cited Trump’s travel ban as an ex­am­ple of what she said was eth­nic pro­fil­ing.

Gor­such shook her hand fol­low­ing the speech.

Gor­such was a late fill-in at the 9th Cir­cuit con­fer­ence for Supreme Court Justice An­thony Kennedy, who can­celed his trip af­ter his wife frac­tured her hip in Aus­tria. The 9th Cir­cuit — the na­tion’s largest fed­eral court cir­cuit — in­cludes the 9th U.S. Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals and district and bankruptcy courts in Cal­i­for­nia and eight other west­ern states.

Judges in the cir­cuit have blocked both of Trump’s travel bans and halted his at­tempt to strip fund­ing from so-called sanc­tu­ary cities.

Gor­such’s re­marks come as the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion asks the Supreme Court to again weigh in on its ban on trav­el­ers from Syria, Su­dan, So­ma­lia, Libya, Iran and Ye­men. Gor­such joined Justice Sa­muel Al­ito in a dis­sent writ­ten by Justice Clarence Thomas in June that said the ban, which also blocks refugees, should be com­pletely re­in­stated pend­ing ar­gu­ments be­fore the high court sched­uled for Oc­to­ber.

The dis­sent ar­gued the ad­min­is­tra­tion had made a “strong show­ing” that it was likely to suc­ceed in over­turn­ing court or­ders block­ing the ban. The ad­min­is­tra­tion has ar­gued the ban is needed for na­tional se­cu­rity. Lower court judges have cited Trump’s com­ments on the cam­paign trail as ev­i­dence that it was mo­ti­vated by anti-Mus­lim bias.

The Supreme Court ma­jor­ity in June said the ad­min­is­tra­tion could mostly en­force its travel ban, but must ex­empt those “with a cred­i­ble claim of a bona fide re­la­tion­ship with a per­son or en­tity in the United States.”

U.S. District Judge Der­rick Wat­son in Hawaii last week or­dered the gov­ern­ment to al­low in refugees for­mally work­ing with a re­set­tle­ment agency in the U.S.

OLIVIER DOULIERY/ABACA PRESS

As­so­ciate Justice Neil Gor­such at the Supreme Court build­ing on June 1 in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

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