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Supreme Court restores Trump’s travel ban

Legal sanity returns to immigration and visa policy

Matthew Vadum author image /

The Supreme Court has allowed President Trump’s ban on travelers from Islamic terrorist-infested nations to take full effect, marking a huge victory for the rule of law, common sense, and U.S. national security.

“This a substantial victory for the safety and security of the American people,” U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said after the orders were handed down.

At 7 to 2, the vote Monday to lift two lower court stays hindering enforcement of Presidential Proclamation 9645 while several legal challenges inch their way through the judicial system, wasn’t even close. Unsurprisingly, leftist Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor voted to deny the Trump administration’s application to rescind the stays. As is its custom, the Supreme Court did not offer a rationale for its decision in the orders.

That the Supreme Court took this dramatic action suggests it may be ready to permanently rule that Trump’s efforts to protect Americans by regulating the flow of visitors to the United States from trouble spots around the world are lawful.

Critics of President Trump falsely claim the proclamation is a “Muslim ban,” even though it leaves out the vast majority of Muslim-majority countries on earth. And even if it did single out Muslims, it should still survive constitutional scrutiny, many legal experts say. The Constitution’s prohibition of so-called religious tests doesn’t apply to immigration policy, which is why no one raised a fuss during the Cold War when the U.S. set aside visas specifically for Soviet Jews escaping religious persecution.

“President Trump’s anti-Muslim prejudice is no secret,” whined Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. “He has repeatedly confirmed it, including just last week on Twitter.”

While Jadwat droned on calling Trump and ordinary Americans who support his policies religious bigots and racists, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) offered a more reasonable appraisal of the high court’s actions.

The Supreme Court ruling supporting the President’s travel ban should have been a “ho-hum, but of course” ruling. However, with judges and justices becoming ever the legislative and executive branches while wearing black robes, this was an absolutely critical ruling. We are grateful the Supreme Court took it up promptly before lower courts ended up with both blood and a shredded Constitution on their hands.

Gohmert is vice chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.

The high court’s orders restore, at least temporarily, the Chief Executive’s time-honored discretionary authority to bar aliens from the United States on national security grounds, even if they have a preexisting relationship with a U.S.-based person or institution.

According to 8 U.S. Code § 1182:

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 … 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.

The current travel ban applies to specified categories of nationals from Muslim-majority Syria, Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. It also applies to North Korean and Venezuelan nationals.

“We are not surprised by today’s Supreme Court decision permitting immediate enforcement of the president’s proclamation limiting travel from countries presenting heightened risks of terrorism,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley told reporters Monday aboard Air Force One.

“The proclamation is lawful and essential to protecting our homeland. We look forward to presenting a fuller defense of the proclamation as the pending cases work their way through the courts.”

President Trump signed Presidential Proclamation 9645 on Sept. 24. The memorandum restricts entry into the United States from eight countries, some of which did not appear on Trump’s earlier two travel-related orders.

In unveiling the proclamation Sept. 24, the White House explained that the homeland security secretary, working with the secretary of state and the attorney general, had “determined that a small number of countries — out of nearly 200 evaluated — remain deficient at this time with respect to their identity-management and information-sharing capabilities, protocols, and practices.” Some of “these countries also have a significant terrorist presence within their territory.”

Leftist open-borders pressure groups sued to block enforcement of the proclamation and on Oct. 17 federal Judge Derrick Kahala Watson of Hawaii, who was appointed by President Obama, enjoined implementation of the travel ban pending an administration appeal before the routinely overturned Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In separate litigation, on Oct. 24, federal Judge Theodore D. Chuang of Maryland, also an Obama appointee, stayed enforcement of the ban pending an administration appeal before the Fourth Circuit. Watson and Chuang also stayed enforcement on earlier iterations of the proclamation.

Both Circuit Courts are scheduled to take up litigation this week that gave rise to the travel ban. However those courts rule, the case concerning the presidential proclamation seems certain to return to the Supreme Court for final resolution.

Radical organizations funded by George Soros have been trying to prevent President Trump from protecting Americans from Muslim terrorism since Trump was inaugurated. Before the current proclamation was issued, Executive Order 13780, issued by the president on March 6, and Executive Order 13769, issued Jan. 27, were stayed by overzealous federal judges trampling on presidential authority.

And plenty of subversives outside the world of professional leftist activism want President Trump’s efforts to protect Americans to fail.

C. Frank Figliuzzi, formerly Assistant Director for Counterintelligence at the FBI, writes in a column at NBC News that terrorism in the United States is unimportant and that Americans will have to get used to being shot, stabbed, run over, and blown up by theocratic totalitarians.

Americans are going to have to “adjust” to a new situation in which terrorism is tolerated because halting immigration is “not who we are,” he writes.

It is better to let waves of new immigrants come to America from terrorist-producing countries than to risk making people from other countries feel uncomfortable, Figliuzzi writes. “Do we want to view anyone from a different country, with a different set of beliefs, as no longer welcome here?”

If those people put Sharia Law over the U.S. Constitution, then yes, Mr. Figliuzzi, it is time to make them feel unwelcome here.

This article first appeared at FrontPageMag.