Two Courts Find That, Yes, It Was a Muslim Ban All Along

The federal courts have dealt two more blows to President Trump’s ongoing attempt to ban Muslims from entering the United States. The two rulings, issued yesterday in separate lawsuits in Hawaii and Maryland, made clear that the president’s second Muslim ban executive order is just as unconstitutional as the first.

The first blow came yesterday from a federal court in Hawaii. Just hours before the travel ban was scheduled to go into effect at 12:01 a.m. this morning, the court issued a ruling blocking the operative provisions of the executive order — both the ban against people from six predominantly Muslim countries and the provisions blocking refugee resettlement in the United States. The second ruling, in a case brought by the ACLU and the National Immigration Law Center on behalf of clients including the International Refugee Assistance Project and HIAS, came just before 2 a.m. from a Maryland district court. That ruling also blocked the six-country ban.

Urge your senators to oppose Muslim ban 2.0.

The breadth of the Hawaii ruling means that, for now, no part of the executive order can take effect without further input from the courts.

A few main takeaways:

1. Keep talking, Mr. President.

Despite the government’s claims to the contrary, both judges found ample evidence that religious discrimination, in clear violation of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, had motivated the executive order. The courts pointed to the words of the president himself, whose various statements during and since his campaign, including his campaign promise of “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” provided clear evidence of his intent to target Muslims based on religion.

We also have the president’s associates’ words. When Rudy Giuliani boasted that Trump had asked him to craft a Muslim ban that could pass legal muster, and Stephen Miller stated that the second executive order would have the same basic effect as the first, they helped confirm the unlawful purpose.

As a result, despite the changes made to the second order, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland noted that “the history of public statements continues to provide a convincing case that the purpose of the Second Executive Order remains the realization of the long-envisioned Muslim ban.”

2. National security was not the point.

The federal court in Maryland, in particular, saw through the Trump administration’s claims that the ban was about national security, pointing to the absence of any evidence suggesting that nationals from the six countries pose a heightened threat to the United States. To the contrary, the court noted, a bipartisan group of former senior U.S. national security officials filed a friend-of-the-court brief stating that no acts of terrorism have been committed by citizens of the six countries since 9/11 and that no intelligence as of January suggested a heightened threat.

To make matters worse, the federal judge noted that the White House never bothered to reach out to national security experts before implementing the first ban. This fact all but destroyed the national security rationale for the Muslim ban, according to the judge:

“In this highly unique case, the record provides strong indications that the national security purpose is not the primary purpose for the travel ban… The fact that the White House took the highly irregular step of first introducing the travel ban without receiving the input and judgment of the relevant national security agencies strongly suggests that the religious purpose was primary, and the national security purpose, even if legitimate, is a secondary post hoc rationale.”

3. Now what?

For now, thanks to the Hawaii decision, both main sections of the executive order are blocked. The Maryland court indicated it will issue a ruling in the near future on the executive order’s illegal reduction of refugee admissions. It’s unlikely that the district courts will have the last word, as the government is likely to appeal these decisions.

And if it does, we will fight those appeals every step of the way. 

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Anonymous

I didn't know God only cares about Americans and American babies? Thank you I'm just a mentally ill liberal communist. Jeez, last time I looked in the mirror I looked like I belonged to the HUMAN RACE! Your narcissism does not allow you to understand just because you say so and because you was born on a piece of the earth we call "America" that gives you more right to feel safe and for your family to feel safe. Your privileged ass thinks you have more rights because you was lucky enough to be born here. Why can't you see, UNDERSTAND, you are part of the HUMAN race above even being American? And just like every other human on earth, we EACH have a right to basic needs. Food, shelter, and for you and your family to feel safe every time you walk out your door. You, sir, are the sick and disturbed individual who think for reasons only you know, you deserve more than others. Just because you believe something doesn't make it true! It's people like you who are destroying America and the human race.

Anonymous

There's a saying chess, play the board, not the opponent. If you think you're dealing with a bunch of bigoted hillbillies, you are going to lose. They might see the board better than you.

Annie

Bigoted hillbillies are the majority of the people who were interviewed at a Trump rally before the election. There was the guy who said he knew for sure the Hillary had a body double and when shown the exact same picture of Hillary twice, he picked the one where she looked younger as the body double. ???? The next interview was a lady that admitted there was absolutely no evidence that Obama was a Muslim, yet she was convinced that he was a Muslim. ?? Then their was the guy who said you could tell Obama was a Muslim because of the rings he wore as there was a some secret Muslim protocol when it came to wedding rings. ?? But my absolute favorite was the gentleman who insisted that Obama was to blame for 9/11. He said that maybe if Obama had spent more time in the Oval Office and less time golfing, that 9/11 would not have happened. So yeah, bigoted hillbillies it is. That and a bunch of white old men who couldn't see anything beyond their hatred of Obama.

Anonymous

You go with that assumption, Annie.

Anonymous

Annie, I'm not going to waste time with you broad strokes which are the very definition of bigotry. While the left is end zone celebrating these hollow victories ( sort of like a defensive end doing a dance for a sack when their team is 30 points down), Trump is doing exactly what Obama did when a federal judge issued an injunction ( and the appeals court upheld) on his 6 month moratorium for drilling in the gulf after the Deep Water Horizon disaster. He just made it impossible to get a permit to drill. Trump has accelerated the extreme vetting process and people from terrorist hot spots have little chance of getting in the country anytime quick.

globalrolf

Strange judicial decision where the ruling is based on the perceived spirit of the law. For example, a campaign statement about a "Muslim ban" holds more weight than an executive order, the enforcement of which actually affects a small percentage of the world's Muslims and affects people of all religions in those countries.

In other words, something a person connected with the creation or passage of a law, statute, regulation, or order said that is contrary to what it actually says, takes precedence over the actual wording.

I thought laws and regulations had to be written with specific wording so they wouldn't run counter to existing law and the Constitution. Then enforcement of the law or regulation is based upon whether or not someone abided by what the wording of the law or regulation said.

If a law could be struck down because of what the executive responsible for the law said in the past, then disobedience to every law can be judged to be OK if it is shown that something contrary to the exact wording in the law was ever said by a legislator that voted for it, the executive that signed it into law, or even someone who inspired the law. The same principle also applies to every executive order, statute, and regulation.

Anonymous

Determining whether there was "Discriminatory Intent", which you're calling the 'perceived spirit' of the law, is EXACTLY one of the methods used to legally conclude that an action was illegal discrimination. Given just the intent, it is well within a judges power to rule against this action, in this case in light of the the establishment clause. They could also rule against it if its predicted effect will be in violation, or later, if the actual effect or implementation is revealed to be in violation.

Ruling based on intent, which was irrefutably shown in this case, means in part that since the intent was to violate the establishment clause, the effect and implementation most certainly will be as well. It is not true that if Obama (or Pence) signed the executive action, it would be fine. It might not be blocked preemptively, but if the effect or implementation were shown to be violation it would most certainly have been blocked later.

Duck!

Anonymous said, "Don't be ashamed of this country, be ashamed of the left. They are populated by anti-American extremists and their lust for power is so great, they would forego your freedom to regain it."

Substitute "right" for "left" and you'll pretty much get the left's sentiments. I can see why this country is so divided and polarized to the point where dialogue is all but impossible. Completely incompatible and diametrically opposed views, with almost no common ground for discourse. Terrible to think where this might end.

Anonymous

This country is divided because of the left. They believe in equal rights and free speech. But soon as you don't agree with the same opinion as them, then you're the absolute scum and the devil. Then the left calls you nasty words because you don't feel the same as them.

Anonymous

I believe thats exactly whats wrong with this country. The eatablishment clause that can find this executive order to be discrimentory and therefor illegal. That law should be removed from the books. Banning refugees and travel to and from certian countries needs to be allowed. But now we cant do that to any country that has muslims or else they will cite these rulings.

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