‘Travel Ban’ Decision May Be 29 Pages Long, But Trump Says Court Managed to Ignore One Key Point

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit sustained a suspension on President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration on Thursday.

According to earlier reports, three judges unanimously agreed to keep a hold on the executive order, which temporarily barred citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries and all refugees from entering the United States.

The original hold was put in place by Washington Judge James L. Robart just days after the executive order on immigration was signed.

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Thursday’s lengthy 29-page ruling was partially influenced by President Trump’s frequent reference to a “Muslim ban” during his time on the campaign trail:

“The State argue that the Executive Order violates the Establishment and Equal Protection Clauses because it was intended to disfavor Muslims. In support of this argument, the States have offered evidence of numerous statements by the President about his intent to implement a “Muslim ban” as well as evidence they claim suggests that the Executive Order was intended to be that ban[.]”

But President Trump was quick to slam the ruling, tweeting out that the decision was bad for “security”:

Fox News reported that the president went to work reviewing the federal court’s decision early Friday morning, and was quick to point out the the “per curiam” decision never mentioned one key argument.

The lengthy decision at no point mentioned a statute that President Trump has often cited as evidence backing his executive order on immigration. According to Fox News, the U.S. code on “inadmissible aliens” reads:

“Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”

Lawfare editor-in-chief Benjamin Wittes pointed this out in a recent blog post, which President Trump cited in a Tweet — calling the omission a “disgraceful decision”:

Fox News reported the blog post alleged that President Trump’s past “Muslim ban” comments shouldn’t have bearing on otherwise sound legal standing, and pointed out the court’s major oversight:

“Remarkably, in the entire opinion, the panel did not bother even to cite this statute, which forms the principal statutory basis for the executive order (see Sections 3(c), 5(c), and 5(d) of the order). That’s a pretty big omission over 29 pages, including several pages devoted to determining the government’s likelihood of success on the merits of the case.”

Getty Images/Alex Wong

Regardless of the omission, the court firmly stated that they have a say in matters of national security that President Trump may deem “unreviewable.” The decision read:

“It is beyond question that the federal judiciary retains the authority to adjudicate constitutional challenges to executive action.”

The New York Times reported that President Trump may intend to bring the decision to the Supreme Court, but for now, the war of words rages on.

Wittes, the writer of the Lawfare blog post, has since slammed the president’s citation of his work.

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