Thursday, March 16, 2017

What Goes Around Comes Around

Yesterday, a judge in Hawaii issued a Temporary Restraining Order against Donald Trump's  second travel ban. Last night, in Nashville, Trump fulminated against the judge's decision to a chorus of boos. If you read the decision, the judge's language is quite curt:

The Government appropriately cautions that, in determining purpose, courts should not look into the ‘veiled psyche’ and ‘secret motives’ of government decision-makers and may not undertake a ‘judicial psychoanalysis of a drafter’s heart of hearts’.

The Government need not fear. The remarkable facts at issue here require no such impermissible inquiry.

For instance, there is nothing ‘veiled’ about this press release: ‘Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.’

Nor is there anything ‘secret’ about the Executive’s motive specific to the issuance of the Executive Order:

Rudolph Giuliani explained on television how the Executive Order came to be. He said: “When [Mr. Trump] first announced it, he said, ‘Muslim ban.’ He called me up. He said, ‘Put a commission together. Show me the right way to do it legally.’”

Trump assumes that the courts will forget about what he has said as quickly as he does. And he assumes that no one will see through the true intent of his actions. But judges aren't as stupid as he claims they are:

When signing the first Executive Order [No. 13,769], President Trump read the title, looked up, and said: ‘We all know what that means.’ President Trump said he was ‘establishing a new vetting measure to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America’, and that: ‘We don’t want them here.’
These plainly-worded statements, made in the months leading up to and contemporaneous with the signing of the Executive Order, and, in many cases, made by the Executive himself, betray the Executive Order’s stated secular purpose.

Any reasonable, objective observer would conclude, as does the Court for purposes of the instant Motion for TRO, that the stated secular purpose of the Executive Order is, at the very least, ‘secondary to a religious objective’ of temporarily suspending the entry of Muslims.

The judge sees through the Donald. He is just as blunt in dismissing Trump's executive order as Trump is when dismissing his opponents. What goes around comes around.


Unknown said...

It's good to see Judges using constitutional law to stop Trumps racist travel ban Owen.The constitution when used for good can be a powerful tool.What he doesn't understand is that the executive orders that he so publicly signs with cameras rolling are meaningless if they are unconstitutional.

The Mound of Sound said...

I understand the issue and I agree with the ruling but it does raise the question of whether a president can be forever estopped from pursuing policy based on prior statements. Could a new president with a clean slate implement the same policies and be upheld by the courts? How could other remarks Trump has made (and there are plenty of those) bear on his ability to introduce enactments? This is something of a constitutional can of worms.

Owen Gray said...

In that way, Trump is a bit like Stephen Harper, Pam. Harper thought that he made the rules. What he didn't understand was that the courts review and -- if necessary -- reject the rules.

Owen Gray said...

I understand the dilemma, Mound. A wiser man than Trump would know when to keep his mouth shut. Fortunately -- and unfortunately -- Trump is not a wise man.

Steve said...

Freedom of religon, your not going to Trump that, the first amendment, the illegal search no problems, but religion is sacrosant. Pity

Owen Gray said...

When it came to religion, Steve, the American Founding Fathers believed in freedom of religion and freedom from religion. Unfortunately, Trump doesn't understand that.

Tal Hartsfeld said...

Now, if Immigration Policy was only about assuring those who enter the U.S. enter legally, and that those who wish to become naturalized citizens go through the proper legal protocols to do so.

But infusing religious discrimination into Immigration Policy is quite another matter. Religious and racial discrimination have no place in determining the legality of one's presence in or entitlement to citizenship of any country.
Such determination should be based solely on how well the required clinical procedures were properly followed by all parties concerned.

Owen Gray said...

I agree wholeheartedly, Tal. At bottom this is all about bigotry.