After over 48 hours of patiently waiting, the world finally has an answer to the recent controversy surrounding President Trump’s immigration ban. On Feb. 9, the 9th circuit court of the United States refused to reinstate President Trump’s Immigration ban, marking the president’s first big legal loss since taking office.
Today I want to focus on two key aspects of the discussion:
- What did the court decide and what was the legal question at stake? What comes next after the decision?
- Where did Trump go wrong? (Opinion)
The United States is split into 13 circuit courts. Each circuit has a few states that belong to its jurisdiction. More importantly, if a state in a particular circuit rules in a specific fashion, then all the other states in the circuit must follow the precedent of that state. Confusing? Let me break it down.
For example, the 5th circuit court of the United States comprises of Texas, Alabama and Mississippi. If the circuit court of Texas decided to rule against state funded abortions, then the other two states in the circuit will follow suit.
The 9th circuit court includes the states of California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Idaho Montana, Arizona, Hawaii, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Simply put, the decision from the 9th circuit court is not a surprise by any stretch of the imagination. The states represented in the 9th circuit are by in large, liberal. Interesting enough, the three judges who ruled on the immigration policy all ruled unanimously against the ban, 3-0. A 29-page concurring opinion basically stated that the immigration ban was a violation of fundamental American constitutional values. The Washington Post reported that the 9th circuit court ruled that the executive order harms international business as it prevents students, faculty, and overseas employees of American companies from traveling abroad in fear of being stranded in another country.
So what is the legal question being asked? Well, we don’t necessarily know. The court has stated that it goes against American constitutional values, and that’s about it.
During the first week of the executive order, green card and Visa holders were restricted from entering the United States, which is illegal. However, the Trump administration has since reversed that rule, one again permitting these people to enter.
Since the Supreme Court usually deals with pressing issues of national security, it is highly probable that the constitutionality of this order will be taken to the highest court in the nation. But until then, we patiently wait. As of now, the immigration ban has been halted in compliance with the decision of the 9th circuit court.
Furthermore, I feel this executive order was doomed from the start not because of its intent but because of the execution.
Like I stated in my last post, I am in no way against immigration bans that are done correctly. Unfortunately for the president, this executive action was amateur at best in its execution.
First, the president is on the record for stating he wanted a ban on Muslims from entering the United States during the campaign season. This was his first mistake. Although the executive order claims it to be an “immigration ban” it is hard not to see past the lines of those words considering the rhetoric. The United States is a country founded by people seeking religious freedom. This is a nation of diversity and something I deeply take pride in. The president’s words are not only contradictory to what makes this country great, but ultimately disrespect fundamental American values—such values which are written in the doctrine of our founding, the constitution.
The next mistake came with the actual signing of the executive order. Countless stories have surfaced the internet of constant confusion from different government agencies on how to properly execute the ban. During the first couple of days, the Department of Homeland Security was not properly informed on who exactly was allowed into the country, causing major confusion at airports around the world. People who legally had the right to enter the United States were being detained for extended periods of time without any explanation to why they couldn’t enter. For lack of a better word, the execution of the ban was messy.
So now we wait. This case is far from over and will most likely be presented to the Supreme Court very soon. As of now, the Supreme Court is split evenly 4/4. This is important because if the court cannot come to a consensus and the vote is evenly split, then the decision made by the 9th circuit court WILL STAND AS LAW marking the president’s first major defeat in office. Obviously that may be jumping the gun a little, but it is interesting to think about all outcomes of the situation.
Regardless of how you feel about the ban, this case could set precedent to how the judiciary reacts to Trump’s executive decisions. Only time will tell….
These past two weeks have been quite hectic, but I hope I can help out with any questions anyone may have.
Until next time, stay engaged!