Two federal judges, one in Hawaii and one in Maryland, have enjoined execution of President Trump’s travel order. These court orders are obviously illegal and unconstitutional. Under the Constitution and federal law, the president has the power to suspend immigration from any and all countries if he deems it in the best interest of the United States.
The idea that Trump’s travel order “discriminates” against foreign Muslims is ridiculous. The Supreme Court has made clear, in cases we have cited repeatedly, that no foreigner has a right to enter the U.S. Our immigration and travel policies are entirely our business. If we choose to “discriminate,” we are entitled to do so, and have in fact done so throughout our history.
What we are witnessing is nothing less than a left-wing judicial coup, an effort to nullify the result of the last election by unconstitutionally depriving the president of his powers. And what reason is there to assume that the coup will stop with Trump’s inoffensive travel order?
Professor William Jacobson writes: “Hawaii TRO and 9th Circuit En Banc Denial effectively strip Trump of executive powers.”
The net result is that Trump has been stripped of his constitutional and statutory powers to protect the nation through control of who is permitted to enter the country.
As discussed in prior posts, the power to control who enters the country is uniquely a presidential power. Not anymore, unless the Supreme Court acts to restore that power.
I disagree to this extent: the moment the next Democratic president is inaugurated, the executive’s constitutional powers will magically be restored and, indeed, extended.
Arguably President Trump has a duty to disregard the Hawaii and Maryland courts’ illegal injunctions, and direct the executive branch to carry out his order. His obligation under the Constitution is to exercise his powers in defense of the American people.
If that proposition seems debatable, it is only because the president’s travel order has such minimal impact. If, for example, the United States were under attack, and a judge ordered the president to ground the U.S. Air Force–perhaps because using the Air Force would “discriminate” against the country that attacked us–the president would disregard the injunction. No one would criticize him for doing so.
The only difference between that hypothetical and the situation we are in now is that the need for Trump’s travel order is less urgent. But the illegality of the court’s action is the same. We are, as I said, observing a coup in progress.