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White House predicts courts will reinstate travel ban

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    Iranian-born bioengineer researcher Nima Enayati holds up his boarding pass at the Milan’s Malpensa International airport in Busto Arsizio, Italy.

WASHINGTON >> Rebuffed in its bid for a quick reversal, the White House said Sunday it expected the courts to reaffirm President Donald Trump’s executive power and reinstate a ban on refugees and travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States.

The case promised to extend into Monday at least, when fresh legal filings were due, and observers had no doubt the Supreme Court ultimately will have a say.

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a brief order overnight, denied the administration’s request to set aside a Seattle judge’s ruling that put a temporary hold on the ban nationwide.

The lawsuit by Washington state and Minnesota said Trump’s order harmed residents and effectively mandated discrimination. Their lawyers had until 2:59 a.m. EST Monday to submit briefs opposing the government’s request. The Justice Department then had a 6 p.m. EST deadline to respond.

“We’ll accomplish the stay and will win the case on the merits,” Vice President Mike Pence said.

Members of Trump’s Republican Party scolded him for Twitter attacks on U.S. District Court Judge James Robart, appointed by President George W. Bush, and accused Trump of stepping over the line that separates the executive from the judiciary. To Trump, Robart is a “so-called judge” whose “ridiculous” ruling “will be overturned.”

Trump renewed his Twitter attacks against Robart on Sunday. “Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!”

He followed with another tweet saying he had instructed the Homeland Security Department to check people coming into the country but that “the courts are making the job very difficult!”

Vice President Mike Pence defended Trump, saying “the president can criticize anybody he wants.” Pence added that he believes the American people “find it very refreshing that they not only understand this president’s mind, but they understand how he feels about things.”

At issue is the legality of a presidential action undertaken in the name of national security. Whatever the outcome and however the case drags on, a president who was used to getting his way in private business is finding, weeks in to the jobs, obstacles to quickly fulfilling one of his chief campaign pledges.

“The president is not a dictator,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. “He is the chief executive of our country. And there is a tension between the branches of government.”

The government had told the appeals court that the president alone has the power to decide who can enter or stay in the United States, an assertion that appeared to invoke the wider battle to come over illegal immigration.

Congress “vests complete discretion” in the president to impose conditions on entry of foreigners to the United States, and that power is “largely immune from judicial control,” according to the court filing.

“We don’t appoint judges to our district courts to conduct foreign policy or to make decisions about the national security,” Pence said.

Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, predicted the appeals court would not have the last word. “I have no doubt that it will go to the Supreme Court, and probably some judgments will be made whether this president has exceed his authority or not,” she said.

In his ruling, Robart said it was not the court’s job to “create policy or judge the wisdom of any particular policy promoted by the other two branches,” but to make sure that an action taken by the government “comports with our country’s laws.”

Trump’s order applied to Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen — Muslim-majority countries that the administration said raise terrorism concerns. The order had caused unending confusion for many foreigners trying to reach the United States, prompted protests across the United States and led to multiple court challenges.

Trump’s criticism of Robart echoed campaign comments against a federal judge of Mexican heritage who was overseeing a lawsuit against Trump University. Justice Department lawyers could be called upon to answer for Trump’s words as the travel ban case makes it way through the courts.

“We all get disappointed from time to time at the outcome in courts on things that we care about,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. “But I think it is best to avoid criticizing judges individually.”

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., was blunter: “We don’t have so-called judges. We don’t have so-called senators. We don’t have so-called presidents. We have people from three different branches of government who take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution.”

The State Department said last week that as many as 60,000 foreigners from those seven countries had had their visas canceled. After Robart’s decision, the department reversed course and said they could travel to the U.S. if they had a valid visa.

The department also advised refugee aid agencies that refugees set to travel before Trump signed his order would now be allowed in.

The Homeland Security Department no longer was directing airlines to prevent visa-holders affected by Trump’s order from boarding U.S.-bound planes. The agency said it had “suspended any and all actions” related to putting in place Trump’s order.

Pence appeared on ABC’s “This Week,” CBS’ “Face the Nation,” NBC’s “Meet the Press” and “Fox News Sunday. McConnell was on CNN, Feinstein spoke on Fox and Sasse was interviewed by ABC.

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  • Trump also predicted that the court would not stay his Muslin ban to begin with, and then predicted that the Circuit would overturn the stay.

    Trump is a psychotic hot mess.

  • The travel ban was temporary and for countries identified by President Obama as countries with high terrorist activity. President Trump has a legal right and duty to restrict entry by people who have not been properly vetted. He has a responsibility to keep all Americans safe and he has a right to issues executive orders if it is in the best interest of the American people. So basically Judge Robarts made an improper ruling and should be overturned.

    • That’s absolutely ridiculous. The judiciary has to rule on issues involving politics all the time.

      These are statements from the actual motions.

      “In his motion for a temporary restraining order, Bob Ferguson argued that the order violated the Constitution’s equal protection clause and establishment clause, as well as due process.
      ‘In short, the Order is illegal, is causing and will continue to cause irreparable harm in Washington, and is contrary to the public interest,’ Ferguson wrote. ‘The Court should fulfill its constitutional role as a check on executive abuse and temporarily bar enforcement of the Order nationwide.'”

      Judge Robart agreed: “In his opinion, U.S. District Judge James L. Robart wrote that ‘fundamental’ to the court’s work was ‘a vigilant recognition that it is but one of three equal branches of our federal government.’
      ‘The court concludes that the circumstances brought before it today are such that it must intervene to fulfill its constitutional role in our tripart government,’ wrote Robart, who had been nominated by George W. Bush in 2004.”

      Checks and balances. Like you should’ve learned in school. No one branch of govt. should dominate. And now the DOJ gets its chance to appeal, which it will.

      Thing is, the Administration won’t want it to get to the Supreme Court right away because they don’t have their nominee there yet. That’s why they haven’t declared an emergency stay.

      From an objective viewpoint it is interesting to observe. Truly democracy in action.

      • If Bob Ferguson is so convinced that Trump’s Executive Order violates the Constitution, why did he ask the court to TEMPORARILY bar the enforcement nationwide? Why didn’t he request a permanent bar?

    • nalogirl – Good grief – what are you talking about? The Senior Judge who wrote the first opinion of stay was appointed by GW Bush.

      Politics have EVERYTHING to do with the Judiciary, and that’s how our Founders wanted it. That’s why every federal judge is appointed by the President. But the Founders also had the wisdom to specify a lifetime appointment, to cut the strings with the President who appointed the judge, and allows complete independence.

      People who don’t know anything are expecting Judge Gorsuch to do what Trump wants him to do when he joins SCOTUS. He won’t.

      • klastri says: Politics have EVERYTHING to do with the Judiciary, and that’s how our Founders wanted it

        DEAD WRONG!

        For an admitted lawyer not to know jack [redacted] about either our history or the Constitution, now that takes the cake. On the other hand this typical depth of ignorance on the part of a poorly educated lawyer may be why our lawyer-studded government is such a mess.

        Ever hear about the 1803 Marbury v Madison debacle, you s i l l y c h u m p ?

        Obviously not, so it is necessary to instruct you on some of the basics.

        THE most powerful element of our federal government is the people’s House, where every member must face the voters every two years by way of balancing power and risk.

        The next most powerful is the President who must face voters every four years.

        The third most powerful, the Senate, whose members had to face replacement every six years. Up until the utterly s t u p I d 17th Amendment, members were chosen by STATE legislators as a reflection of the power of each sovereign STATE intended by founders. After that we foolishly allowed the popular election of senators, throwing power to the people instead of to their elected STATE reps.

        And, until Marbury, the WEAKEST element by Founder design was the Judiciary whose Supreme Court members NEVER had to face the voters.

        Then in Marbury, CJSCOTUS John Marshall committed a secular sin by claiming for the court a power not authorized ANYWHERE in the Constitution: the power to NULLIFY the work product of the other two co-equal branches by declaring a law UNCONSTITUTIONAL. That Marshall was not challenged and defeated by Congress is a mark of shame and an injury from which we still have not recovered.

        That one decision transformed what the Founders intended as the weakest element into the STRONGEST because no checks or balances could be applied to its new DICTATORIAL powers. And ever since the Court has become a POLITICAL player, more and more corrupted by its raw, unchecked POWER.

        That for example is how the court was permitted to invent “the right to privacy” right out of thin air in the infamous 1965 Griswold v Connecticut decision. The one question never addressed by the court during Griswold deliberations was: privacy to do WHAT?

        In effect Griswold created a brand new “right” without any limits at all and that is why 8 years later, in Roe v Wade, we got another newly invented “right” – – the right to m u r d e r the unborn – – based entirely on Griswold.

        Now Klastri, I know you will not bother to read all this because, like God’s love, it passeth beyond your meager understanding, but others who read it WILL understand what a truly i g n o r a n t person you are and wonder how you ever managed to pass the bar exam.

  • Was startled to read this line: Pence added that he believes the American people “find it very refreshing that they not only understand this president’s mind … ”

    Wasn’t sure whether to laugh, or cry. Who, really, understands the mind of our “so-called president”?

    He needs to walk this one back. Well-intentioned, but poorly conceived and executed with Bannon’s fingerprints all over it.

  • What a disaster. Trump is acting like a banana republic tyrant…or a 6-year-old spoiled brat throwing a tantrum. And does pence really believe the ridiculous things he is saying? I guess alternative facts will be hallmark of this administration.

      • It appears that bannon recognizes trump’s weaknesses and is clever enough to take advantage of it for his own goals. After all, didn’t he say that he wanted to bring down the government? He is now in the perfect position to do that, with the ideal puppet. And, unfortunately, most of the republican congressmen are too cowardly to do anything about it.

        • Agreed, Bannon is not at fault just like Putin is not at fault, they see an opening in Trump that they can take advantage of, and why shouldn’t they…Republicans are coming around though, they’re Americas only hope…Save The Donald from The Donald, should be the game plan…#MAGA

      • Yo Klastri!

        Aren’t you the [redacted] who told all of us, the unwashed, that PRESIDENT TRUMP could never, but NEVER EVER win the election?

        Remember all that preening and prancing about because you think of yourself as a lawyer in the know, like a young Duke among the fishmongers?

        Having so thoroughly marginalized (and infantilized) yourself with all this pre-election grandstanding, do you really think anyone takes you seriously, NOW?

  • Trump is tweeting like someone who belongs in a straight jacket. No President ever whines and lies about the Judiciary this way. Never.

    Trump – like many of his sad supporters – does not understand that the Judiciary is a co-equal branch of our government. He is finding out to his surprise that he is not the King, like he was at Trump Tower.

    Citizens are massing at House and Senate offices to erode Trump’s support in Congress. Republicans are probably going to choose keeping their jobs over slavish devotion to Trump. Most of them are less ignorant about government than Trump obviously is, and they can see the fiasco he is creating.

  • Not sure about the process as our appeals court unaffectionately is referred by some as the 9th Circus Court of Appeals. This left of center group gets the nod for having more than their share of its decisions turned. So politics is in the Judiciary. This truly may go all the way to the US Supreme court.

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