A unanimous three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that the administration’s move to restrict the migration and travel of citizens from select Muslim-majority countries to the US was illegal and will therefore not enter into force. In their statement, they said that “Immigration, even for the president, is not a one-person show”, and that “National security is not a 'talismanic incantation' that, once invoked, can support any and all exercise of executive power.” The White House, for its part, will take the decision to the Supreme Court, where it will likely be heard together with a previous appeals decision from Virginia which also came to the same ruling.
Trump’s travel restrictions were a key component of his campaign platform, but he’s having difficulty delivering on it because of judicial opposition. Critics have slammed it as a so-called “Muslim Ban” because it targets citizens from several Muslim-majority countries, though interestingly leaving Saudi Arabia out of it in spite of the plethora of evidence claiming to prove that the country is indeed a major terrorist-exporting state. On the other hand, Trump’s supporters laud the measures as long overdue and representative of the government’s responsibility to protect its citizens from terrorism, especially in the wake of high-profile attacks in Western Europe.
Whichever side of the debate that one stands on, everyone should be able to agree that the US’ system of “checks and balances” is responsible for putting a wrench in Trump’s plans, though people understandably disagree about whether this is a good or bad thing. The President’s opponents say that this is how American Democracy is supposed to work, and that the previously unheard of courts are the only thing protecting America from a full-blown “dictatorship”. His supporters obviously beg to differ, and they point out that these very same courts are unfairly targeting the President’s national security agenda and irresponsibly putting American lives at stake for the sake of scoring political points with “the resistance”. Given that Trump’s revised travel restrictions have just been struck down for the second time in just as many months, it’s worthwhile wondering whether the courts have gone out of control or are just doing their constitutional duty.
Roger Wilson, Federal trial lawyer from Atlanta, GA, who represents clients in dealings with the United States Government, including witnesses testifying before Congress, and Joseph Davis, independent blogger based in Memphis, TN, join the show.
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