Archive for the ‘Travel ban’ category

Supreme Court Reinstates The Trump Travel Ban In Full Depending Appeal

December 5, 2017

Supreme Court Reinstates The Trump Travel Ban In Full Depending Appeal, Jonathan Turley’s Blog, Jonathan Turley, December 5, 2017

I do not see how these orders cannot be taken as a strong indication of the view of the majority on the Supreme Court in favor of the authority claimed by the Administration.  Moreover, the orders contain a notable line that indicates that the Court wants this litigation brought to an end: “In light of its decision to consider the case on an expedited basis, we expect that the Court of Appeals will render its decision with appropriate dispatch.”  If the injunction decision is any indication, the Court may be thinking of dispatching more than the schedule in this long-running litigation.

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Yesterday, the Trump Administration secured two clear victories after the United States Supreme Court issued two orders lifting the lower court injunctions imposed on the travel ban.  I have written repeatedly on the travel ban (here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here) and my view that the case law supported the Trump Administration.  I thought that the appeal that reached the Supreme Court on the second round seemed likely to succeed while the third round was even stronger for the Administration.  The Administration had already secured an order with the Ninth Circuit reversing the trial courts in critical respects.  Now the Supreme Court restored the travel ban in its entirety pending appeal.  The orders issued shortly before appellate arguments on the merits this week is a further indication that the Administration is likely to prevail on the merits.  Indeed, while the orders do not dictate an outcome, they send a strong message to the lower courts on the skepticism of the Court.

When the Supreme Court lifted a significant part of the injunctions imposed by lower courts, there was a surprising footnote in the short order that I discussed at the time.  The Court indicated that the Trump Administration had not asked for an expedited hearing before October.  That set the travel ban up for what I described as “planned obsolescence” to expire shortly before the scheduled oral argument.

Buried in the order was the following line after the Court set the oral hearing for the start of the October session:  “The Government has not requested that we expedite consideration of the merits to a greater extent.”  So the Administration asked for expedition but did not push for a July argument, which would not be unprecedented. Instead, the Court set oral argument for the start of the October session.  Why?  If this is a matter of national security danger, one would expect at least a request for a July argument.

As discussed at the time, the answer would seem to be that the Administration was planning to issue a new travel order after the expiration (it would be smarter to wait for the passage of the 90 days to avoid arguments that the new order in any way worked in tandem with the prior order).  The new order would then be based on new information, new priorities, and likely cover additional countries. That would make it even more difficult to challenge.  The degree of reliance of lower courts on Trump’s campaign statements and tweets were always questionable.  Replaying “Golden Trump Oldies” on a new ban is unlikely to garner as much of a judicial audience.

After the Supreme Court order lifting the injunction, the expired ban barred citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen who could not show a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States” from entering the U.S. As I discuss, the new order could add additional countries to the list and identify other vetting concerns and procedures.  It did.

The new order issued Sept. 24 contains a new list of countries that dropped some of the original countries while adding new non-Muslim countries. For the record, I have long criticized the earlier orders against the travel orders as relying too heavily on campaign statements and too little on existing case law. I believe that the administration would have largely prevailed on the second order if the litigation were not mooted. The new opinions in Hawaii and Maryland offered basically the same narrative while ignoring the new factual foundation.

There is no question that President Trump continues to make the defense of these orders more difficult with his controversial tweets, including the recent retweeting of controversial videos from an extremist group in England. However, the materiality of these statements has become more and more forced with each new generation of agency findings. Agencies studied the vetting procedures for months and reached a consensus on the changes that they deemed necessary for border protection. Such factual findings are normally accorded deference by courts, which are bound not to substitute their judgment for policy or political choices.

Judge Chuang notably found that the administration may have met the “low bar” of establishing that entry from these countries would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States.” However, he insisted that the administration did not “explain why the broad travel ban is necessary in a way…unrelated to religious animus.” It is not clear how the administration is supposed to prove that, particularly after shouldering the burden on the detrimental impact to the nation’s security. The administration cited “inadequate identity management protocols, information sharing practices, and risk factors,” including need technological improvements.

The new orders allow, for the first time, the travel bans to go into full affect. They notably do not include the prior limitation imposed by the Court in June when the Court lifted most but not all of the injunctions.  At that time, three justices indicated that they wanted to lift the injunctions without limitations but the rest of the Court decided to preserve the injunction for those with established connections to the United States.  On this occasion, only Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented to allowing the travel ban to be enforced in its entirety.

While the orders relate to the injunctions and not the merits, the Court clearly rejected the lower court finding under the preliminary injunction standard that the challengers had shown a “likelihood of success on the merits” of the case. The Court could also have rejected the showing that the plaintiff is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, that the balance of equities weighs in the plaintiff’s favor, or that a preliminary injunction is in the public interest.

I do not see how these orders cannot be taken as a strong indication of the view of the majority on the Supreme Court in favor of the authority claimed by the Administration.  Moreover, the orders contain a notable line that indicates that the Court wants this litigation brought to an end: “In light of its decision to consider the case on an expedited basis, we expect that the Court of Appeals will render its decision with appropriate dispatch.”  If the injunction decision is any indication, the Court may be thinking of dispatching more than the schedule in this long-running litigation.

Here are the orders: International Refugee Assistance order and the Hawaii order.

Supreme Court permits full enforcement of Trump travel ban

December 4, 2017

Supreme Court permits full enforcement of Trump travel ban, Fox News, December 4, 2017

(Details should be published soon. — DM)

The Supreme Court announced Monday that it will permit the full enforcement of President Trump’s controversial travel ban.

Reform Islam or Live the ‘New Normal’ Forever

November 1, 2017

Reform Islam or Live the ‘New Normal’ Forever, PJ MediaRoger L Simon, October 31, 2017

(What a great, original idea! It’s a shame that nobody thought of it before. But wait. Clarion Project has been promoting it for years, and so have reform groups as the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. I have also argued that there is no other solution to the Islamic terrorism problem in America. In the linked article I suggested a few ways in which an Islamic reformation could be encouraged. Nothing useful has been done, so I suppose we, like most Europeans, must be content with the “new normal.” — DM)

Boston Marathon US Muslims

Two of the more repugnant Americans today are the moral narcissist judges from Maryland (Theodore Chuang) and Hawaii (Derrick Watson) who tried to upend Donald Trump’s travel ban.  They have metaphorical blood on their robes, whether they know it or not.

The fact is the travel ban is insufficient, not illegal.  It’s only a meager beginning in dealing with a situation that has not changed in any real sense since 9/11, as the events in New York Tuesday testify. If we do not move even more seriously to prevent them, they will indeed become the “new normal.”  Globally, they already have.

The ISIS-loving psycho killer who murdered eight and crippled more, Sayfullo Saipov, is from Uzbekistan, which is not on the banned list.  Not only that, he was admitted to the U.S. via something called the Diversity (yes, that word again) Visa Program, a blind lottery system that seems more like Russian roulette for existing citizens.  Spin the wheel and admit a mass murderer for Allah.

Trump, none too soon, evidently wants to do away with this insanity, but what about the travel ban? If you were realistic, you would have to include places like France and Belgium, even the UK, that are presently loaded with Islamists chomping at the bit to serve their deranged cause. (Yes, I know, these countries supposedly vet their travelers, but events within their own borders give little confidence.)

All politics may be local, but New York is far from alone.  According to TheReligionofPeace website, there were 34 jihadist attacks in 13 countries over just six days this past week (Oct. 21-27), resulting in 444 killed and 114 injured.  That doesn’t include the horrific suicide bombing in Somalia on October 28 that took over two dozen lives — “including three children and a beheaded woman.”

What most of us know — those who are even faintly honest anyway — is that Islam has a gigantic problem, the basis of which is that the so-called “radical” Islamists are actually practicing the fundamental version of their religion. What they do is approved, even required, by their holy texts.   Many of our liberals and progressives don’t know this — or don’t want to — but it’s the reality.  It is also the reason Muslim protest is so tepid and often focused on non-existent Islamophobia.

And it is finally those beliefs that explain why people like ex-Uber driver Saipov can, as was reported, seem so friendly and pleasant, and then turn around and mow down as many people as he can in a jihadist orgy. He may be psychologically disturbed in our terms, but in his own, he’s a believer.  And his belief system can ultimately be a more powerful and enduring adversary than communism or Nazism, because it promises eternal life.  (This is why I have always thought calling jihadists “cowards,” as so many of our politicians do,  silly.  They are more than willing to die.  Indeed, they crave it.)

Trump administration challenges federal judge’s decision to block newest travel ban

October 25, 2017

Trump administration challenges federal judge’s decision to block newest travel ban, Washington Examiner, Ryan Lovelace, October 25, 2017

The Justice Department challenged a federal judge’s decision to block President Trump’s newest travel ban effort and urged the courts to hear its case in an expedited fashion.

The Justice Department Tuesday asked the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to review the decision by a federal judge in Maryland to block Trump’s newest travel restrictions hours before the restrictions were set to begin. Federal judges in Maryland and Hawaii acted last week to block the latest travel ban.

The Justice Department noted the likelihood the U.S. Supreme Court could soon hear the case too.

“The district court’s nationwide injunction prevents the government from implementing a national-security measure issued in response to a global review, undertaken by the Departments of Homeland Security and State, of foreign governments’ information-sharing practices and risk factors,” wrote the Justice Department attorneys on Tuesday.

“The injunction prevents the president from responding as he deems fit to risks the government has identified as currently affecting the nation’s safety.”

The Trump administration argued its challenge warranted it be expedited “on a schedule that will allow for Supreme Court review in the current term.”

The last of the legal challenges to Trump’s earlier travel ban measures, crafted by a second executive order, were rendered moot by the Supreme Court on Tuesday following the expiration of the 120-day refugee ban. The justices previously scrapped oral arguments over the travel ban litigation from its calender and tossed Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project following the end of the 90-day travel ban at issue.

The legal fight over Trump’s September proclamation implementing new travel ban restrictions began before the Supreme Court finished its review of the earlier legal fights without commenting on the merits of the travel ban cases.

Rex Tillerson authorizes North Korea travel ban

July 21, 2017

Rex Tillerson authorizes North Korea travel ban, Washington ExaminerJoel Gehrke, July 21, 2017

The ban is due to “the serious risk of arrest and long-term detention” by the rogue regime. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has decided to ban all travel by Americans to North Korea, due to “the serious risk of arrest and long-term detention” by the rogue regime.

“Once in effect, U.S. passports will be invalid for travel to, through and in North Korea, and individuals will be required to obtain a passport with a special validation in order to travel to or within North Korea,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Friday.

Jeff Sessions to appeal latest Hawaii travel ban decision to Supreme Court

July 14, 2017

Jeff Sessions to appeal latest Hawaii travel ban decision to Supreme Court, Washington ExaminerKelly Cohen, July 14, 2017

(Please see also, Hawaii judge rules Trump’s travel ban too strict, cannot ban grandparents and other family members. The circuit judge who issued the ruling said that it would be null if the government filed an emergency appeal. The appeal to the Supreme Court should have a similar effect. — DM)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Friday the Justice Department will appeal the latest decision by a Hawaii District Court to limit the scope of President Trump’s travel ban, and blasted the court for “micromanag[ing] the decisions of the coequal executive branch.”

“[T]he district court has improperly substituted its policy preferences for the national security judgments of the executive branch in a time of grave threats, defying both the lawful prerogatives of the Executive Branch and the directive of the Supreme Court,” Sessions said.

 Sessions said the court “undermined national security, delayed necessary action, created confusion, and violated a proper respect for separation of powers.”

The Justice Department will now turn again to the Supreme Court, Sessions said, calling having to do so something the Trump administration will do “reluctantly.”

The judge in Hawaii ruled Thursday night that Trump’s interpretation of the travel ban goes too far in banning family members from the United States.

Trump implemented the ban to allow people with close family ties to the U.S. enter from the six countries covered by the ban: Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. But it said grandparents, grandchildren, brothers and sisters in law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins don’t qualify.

Judge in Hawaii leaves Trump’s travel ban rules in place

July 7, 2017

Judge in Hawaii leaves Trump’s travel ban rules in place, Washington Times, July 6, 2017

FILE- In this June 30, 2017, file photo, critics of President Donald Trump’s travel ban hold signs during a news conference with Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin in Honolulu.

A federal judge delivered President Trump yet another legal victory on his travel ban executive order late Thursday, allowing to remain in effect the White House’s revised rules that cast a fairly narrow screen on who will be admitted as refugees or from six targeted countries.

Judge Derrick K. Watson said the state of Hawaii and other immigrant rights groups challenging Mr. Trump should take their beef up with the Supreme Court since it was the justices’ vague ruling that has led to confusion.

“This court will not upset the Supreme Court’s careful balancing,” Judge Watson wrote.

 In a June 26 ruling, the justices agreed to let much of Mr. Trump’s extreme vetting policy go into effect, canceling an earlier injunction Judge Watson and other federal judges had imposed.

The justices, in a 9-0 ruling, said that for would-be visitors without a connection to the U.S. — either a close relative or a job offer or participation in a school program, for example — Mr. Trump could exclude them. For those with close relationships, however, the justices said the relatives or entities in the U.S. had rights that must be weighed, and for now those rights trump the president’s security concerns.

The Supreme Court has planned full arguments for October.

But the justices didn’t define what a close relationship means, leaving it up to the administration to say, and Mr. Trump’s opponents to then battle over.

Homeland Security said it looked to federal immigration law and previous court rulings and concluded that parents, siblings and spouses were close relationships, but others — including grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles and even couples engaged to be married — did not qualify.

Hawaii Attorney General Douglas S. Chin had argued that in his state, close family relationships had a much broader meaning that needed to be protected.

Judge Watson said he’d be happy to interpret his own orders, but since the standard in this case was set by the Supreme Court, it’s up to the justices to say what they meant.

Justice Clarence Thomas had predicted a slew of lawsuits would result from the high court’s ruling last month, saying they had left a muddle.

For now, Mr. Trump remains free to restrict entry of many would-be visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — the majority-Muslim nations that the government, dating back to the Obama administration, has deemed to be threats. His executive order imposes a 90-day pause on those admissions.

Mr. Trump has also called for a 120-day halt to refugee admissions worldwide. The Supreme Court said he could only halt those refugees who, like the visitors from the six targeted countries, don’t have a close relationship with someone in the U.S.

All sides are still trying to hash out what that means, and whether refugees in the pipeline who have been promised resettlement by a nonprofit agency in the U.S. can still come.

For now, Judge Watson’s ruling marks another rare court victory for Mr. Trump after a string of defeats.

His original travel ban policy issued in January was blocked by several courts, including the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He went back to the drawing board and revised his order in March to meet the 9th Circuit’s objections, but that court and the 4th Circuit blocked even the updated order, arguing Mr. Trump broke procedural laws and, in the case of one of the courts, said he showed too much animus toward Muslims to allow his order to stand.

The Supreme Court, though, rejected those reasons, instead looking at the executive order on its face and concluding Mr. Trump did have national security and immigration powers as president that must be respected.