Trump's Travel Ban Tweets Sure To Seal Deal With SCOTUS, You Bet!
Has someone done a wellness check on Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall today? We are just asking, since his client spent the weekend setting fire to their Supreme Court petition before pissing on the embers this morning. Someone ought to look in on that guy!
Thursday night, Wall filed a Petition for Certiorari, asking the Supreme Court to prettyplease let Donald Trump have his stupid Travel Ban already so he can go back to tweeting insults at Arnold Schwarzenegger and playing golf. Wall argued that the Executive Order on Immigration was NOT a Travel Ban, was certainly NOT based on hatred of Muslims, and was simply the standard administration of a regular old government just doing its job. Nothing to see here!
But unless Wall wants to start sleeping on Melania's side of the bed, he's going to face an uphill battle with the Court. Because the minute President Twitterfingers is left alone, he unleashes a rant that throws Wall's entire argument under the bus. DHS Secretary Kelly and Sean Spicer have spent months arguing that the Executive Order just tweaked immigration procedures, NBD!
DHS Secretary John Kelly: The executive order on travel is not a Muslim ban https://t.co/JttD7q7RNHhttps://t.co/YdzxjULhF0
— CNN (@CNN) March 6, 2017
But Trump woke up Saturday morning shouting BAN!BAN!BAN! into his Twitter phone.
And again this morning.
Well played, Sir!
Come to think of it, Jeffrey Wall is probably going to have to keep Donald company during his 6AM constitutional, too. Lucky fella!
Trump's Main Argument: I HAVE THE POWER!!!
On Thursday, the government asked the Supreme Court to stay the 4th Circuit's injunction in International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) v. Trump and to rehear the case on appeal. It also asked the Supreme Court to stay the District Court's injunction in Hawaii v. Trump before the 11th Circuit even gets to hear it. The government's arguments here are a regurgitation of the same nonsense they've been serving up without success in the lower courts, only with an extra helping of Twitter vomit by the president. Mmmm mmmm good!
Wall argues that the President has basically unfettered authority to control immigration.
The Constitution and Acts of Congress confer on the President broad authority to suspend or restrict the entry of aliens outside the United States when he deems it in the Nation’s interest.
To which every other court has said, NO, HE'S NOT A GOD-KING. But maybe it will work this time!
This Executive Order is NEW AND IMPROVED
Wall takes pains to argue that the second Executive Order is not nearly so bad as the first, which caused massive chaos at airports and consulates. Sure, the old ban was just as illegal as Sally Yates said it was, Ted Cruz(!!!), but the new one is a whole different story.
Addressing concerns courts had raised, however, the Order clarifies that the suspension applies only to aliens who (1) are outside the United States on the Order’s effective date, (2) do not have a valid visa on that date, and (3) did not have a valid visa on the effective date of the January Order.
Which is somewhat undercut by his boss arglebargling this morning about how they should have stayed with the old version which wasn't so "politically correct."
He liked it better before they watered it down with all this PC shit anyway!
But some of Donald Trump's Best Friends are Muslims!
Wall goes on to argue that the ban is "facially neutral" and doesn't violate the Establishment Clause by favoring one religion over another. Which is a difficult argument to make when your boss has spent two years screaming about Radical Islamic Terrorism and needing a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on." But Wall gives it the old college try in his Application for Stay in IRAP, where he complains that Trump can't do foreign diplomacy if his own courts keep saying his totally legitimate Executive Order is rooted in hatred of Muslims. Did you guys not see the video of him dancing?
Hellooooo!! Does this guy hate Muslims? I DON'T THINK SO.
He also argues that most of the really crazy shit Trump said about banning Muslims was before the inauguration. So OMG! how can the the Court even consider that as evidence of his intention to ban Muslims two months later? Luckily, Trump had some time this morning to clarify that he still believes we need to stop being "politically correct" and get that ban in place pronto.
We're So Good At Vetting, Believe Me!
People in the administration who are NOT CRAZY have spent months arguing that the ban is a temporary measure needed to reassess those lax vetting procedures put in place by the Obama administration. Sure, refugee admissions was an intensive investigatory process that took several years. But Republicans were absolutely positive that hordes of terrorists were being greeted at the border with flowers and free Obamaphones because...Fox News. Solicitor Wall argues that the Supreme Court needs to allow the NOT-BAN to go into effect right now so that new vetting procedures can be implemented. The problem is that his boss just claimed that his DHS is EXTREME VETTING people so hard right now, despite the sadweak courts.
In which case, why do we even need the ban at all? Much less an emergency smackdown of every lower court that called it illegal?
Even Republicans are wondering why we're still arguing about how big and powerful Trump's hands are instead of just dealing with the administrative issue already.
“It’s been four months since I said they needed four months to put that in place,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), a member of the Intelligence Committee, said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I think you can do that without a travel ban and hopefully we are.”
Donald Trump Knows a Terrorist When He Sees One!
Jeffrey Wall says we need the ban for national security because Donald Trump and his advisors say so. Which is probably the best he's got, since multiple leaked memos show that "enhanced vetting" would not exclude the vast majority of terrorists who arrive here as children and become radicalized several years later. Is there an argument that citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen are extra dangerous when un-banned Uzbeks, Bosnians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis comprise a larger number of those arrested for terrorism? Probably not.
Instead, Wall makes the bizarre decision to argue that the Courts are too stupid to assess the president's motives when it comes to national security. So they'd better just take his word for it!
And although the President generally need not “disclose” his “reasons for deeming nationals of a particular country a specialthreat,” when he does so (as he did in Section 1(d)-(i) of the Order), courts are “ill equipped to determine their authenticity and utterly unable to assess their adequacy.
Because judges love being told to mind their own business. Smooth!
Does Trump's Twitterphone Have a Calendar Function?
As the Take Care Blog pointed out on Friday, the Executive Order Trump signed on March 24 only lasts for 90 days. Which means that it expires next week anyway, no matter what the Supreme Court does.
Section 2(c) of the Order provides that “the entry into the United States of nationals of [the six designated] countries be suspended for 90 days from the effective date of this order.” And Section 14 of the Order specifically provides that the “effective date” of the Order was 12:01 a.m. on March 16. Accordingly, the E.O. itself provides that the suspension prescribed in Section 2(c) ends at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, June 14, whether or not any courts have enjoined its implementation in the interim.
Notably, the government has confirmed this reading. On March 24–after the two district court injunctions were in place–the government represented to the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit that “Section 2(c)’s 90-day suspension expires in early June.”
And we know Trump isn't much of a reader, but we can't help but notice that the Supreme Court has ordered IRAP and other parties such as the ACLU to respond by 3PM on Monday, Jun 12. Which is a mere 33 hours before the Executive Order expires.
But keep Tweeting shit, Poppy! It's all going so well!
[Lawfare / MSNBC Maddow Memo / Petitions to Supreme Court, posted by Lawfare / Leaked DHS Memo / WaPo / TakeCare]
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.