US Supreme Court leans toward upholding Trump's travel ban
26 April, 2018, 12:37 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
The case is a lightning rod, pitting immigration activists on one side against ardent supporters of President Trump who applaud his efforts to more tightly control the national borders.
The Supreme Court is all about fairness; etched on its portico are the words: "EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW".
The order is the third and latest version of the president's attempts to craft an immigration control regime that he believes necessary to keep potential terrorists out of this country. Hussein is also from Somalia and has been directly affected by the ban.
Deemed the "Muslim ban" by critics, the ban bars nearly all travelers from the primarily Muslim countries: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Yemen.
Solicitor General Noel Francisco, who argued the case for the government, compared Trump's order to the proclamation President Carter issued on Iran and the proclamation President Reagan issued with respect to Cuba.
GENERAL FRANCISCO: My final point has to do with my - my brother's recognition that, if the president were to say tomorrow that he was sorry, all of this would go away.Well, the president has made crystal clear on September 25th that he had no intention of imposing the Muslim ban.
A number of prominent people attended Wednesday's hourlong arguments, including Broadway star and "Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, Sens.
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The ban triggered chaos and protests across the U.S.as travelers were stopped from boarding global flights and detained at airports for hours.
While on the campaign trail, Trump advocated for a full Muslim ban.
In one instance, Roberts questioned whether the president could be stopped from taking action on foreign emergencies, such as Syria's civil war, if he is prevented from issuing policies that target specific countries. "So I would expect that if any Cabinet member were given that order, that Cabinet member would refuse to comply, or resign, the face of a plainly unconstitutional order", the solicitor general said.
"We-we-we don't have those, your honor", responded Francisco.
In Francisco's defense, this is probably a slip-up.
"Where does the president get the authority to do more than what the Congress has set?" she asked.
In an exchange with Hawaii's lawyer, Neal Katyal, Kennedy indicated it was not practical for a president to predict that six months after the ban was announced there will be a "safe world".
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Chief Justice Roberts asked Mr. Katyal how long Mr. Trump's campaign statements should be deemed to have poisoned his decision-making. "He's elected, and on Day 2 he takes acts that are consistent with those hateful statements".
"Campaign statements" are made by "private citizens", Francisco argued.
"He has made crystal clear that Muslims in this country are great Americans, and there are many, many Muslim countries who love this country", Francisco said in his closing argument.
"This is not a so-called Muslim ban", Francisco said.
Outside the court, opponents of the ban held signs that read "No Muslim Ban". Trump, as president, also revived a parable he told during the campaign likening Syrian refugees to snakes. Supreme Court oral arguments are often rich in hypotheticals, which force the lawyers to confront the logical consequences of their positions. The high-stakes arguments at the high court on Wednesday could offer some indication about how a court that runs on respect for traditions and precedent will deal with a president who regularly breaks with convention. Also, he added, the comments Trump made are not related to the ban. That brought immediate turmoil as travelers were stopped at airports and some were detained for hours.
The court is expected to review the case over the next two months before ruling in late June. 'It hurts me because it is singling out and demeaning Muslims due to their faith'.
There are, in fact, 51 majority-Muslim countries, and the government maintains that the travel ban is targeting only those that are points of vulnerability, either because they lack the ability to verify the identity and background of those seeking to enter the USA or they have not cooperated with the US government or are "safe havens of terrorism".
Kennedy's vote could be key, and while he did express some reservation about a candidate's expressions of animus against Muslims during the campaign, he didn't seem to have overall concerns about the President's authority to ban entry, noting that the travel ban could be reviewed every 180 days.
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