In a sharp blow to Pres. Donald Trump’s attempts to expand his executive powers, a bipartisan panel of three Ninth Circuit judges ruled to uphold a block on Trump’s so-called “Muslim ban.” Read the decision here.
aNewDomain — A panel of three judges from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit today ruled against Pres. Donald Trump’s attempt to reinstate his controversial immigration ban.
The decision, which you can read in full below the fold, was a major blow to Trump and his Jan. 27 executive order banning immigrants from Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iraq from entering the U.S. It also would’ve barred all refugees from entering the U.S. for 120 days all refugees from wartorn Syria indefinitely.
For three days after Trump signed the order, US Customs and Border Patrol officials began turning back, questioning and detaining travelers and even green card holders at border crossings. Millions of protesters jammed major US airports in protest, only stopping when challenges in Minnesota, Washington and other states led to a temporary block of the ban.
The Ninth Circuit decision rejected the Trump administration’s attempt to reverse that stay.
“The emergency motion for a stay pending appeal is denied,” the judges wrote in the unanimous opinion, which arrived Thursday afternoon Pacific Time. “The public has a powerful interest in national security and in the ability of an elected president to enact policies.” On the other hand, “the public also has an interest in free flow of travel, in avoiding separation of families and in freedom from discrimination.”
As you’ll see below the fold, the implications of today’s decision extend well beyond what critics have been calling Trump’s “Muslim ban.”
But first, here’s the opinion, readable in place below. STORY CONTINUES BELOW …
On Twitter, Trump reacted in all caps.
Speaking at the White House to reporters soon after, he characterized the 9th Circuit decision as “a political decision,” adding that “we’re going to see them in court, and I look forward to doing that … it’s a decision that we’ll win, in my opinion, very easily.”
Complicating Trump’s quest to take the issue to the highest court in the land, legal observers say, is th fact that the judicial panel’s decision was a unanimous one. Further, the fact that the panel represented both parties weakens Trump’s assertion that it was, merely, a “political decision.”
One of the judges, in fact, was a conservative — Judge Richard R. Clifton was appointed to the bench by Pres. George W. Bush.
But the biggest blow the Ninth Circuit decision today dealt went way beyond just the issue around the immigration ban. Legal observers told us this evening that it appears to be a clear signal of how the courts will view the Trump administration’s seeming goal of expanding presidential powers.
If this decision is any indication, federal judges won’t so easily give up their Constitutionally-prescribed check and balance power to Trump’s executive branch.
“The emergency motion for a stay pending appeal is denied,” the judges wrote in the unanimous opinion, which arrived Thursday afternoon Pacific Time.
“The public has a powerful interest in national security and in the ability of an elected president to enact policies.” On the other hand, “the public also has an interest in free flow of travel, in avoiding separation of families and in freedom from discrimination.” three judges on the 9th Circuit panel made the decision unanimously, and it was a bipartisan panel.
The judges rejected outright the Trump administration’s claims that the president is within his executive power to impose the immigration ban, writing:
“There is no precedent to support this claim of unreviewability, which runs contrary to the fundamental structure of our constitutional democracy.”
And though the judicial branch of government has long “counseled deference to the political branches on matters of immigration and national security, neither the Supreme Court nor our court has ever held that courts lack the authority to review executive action in those arenas for compliance with the Constitution,” they added.
“The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in a unanimous decision effectively granted everything we sought,” Washington’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson told
CNN after the ruling came out. “Bottom line, this is a complete victory for the state of Washington.”
In a statement early this evening, the DOJ said it is still examining the decision.
For aNewDomain, I’m Gina Smith.
Cover image: TMZ.com, All Rights Reserved.