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Trump’s tweets threaten the chances of his travel ban in court – Mother Jones

Andrew Harnik/AP

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President Donald Trump kicked off the week with a barrage of morning tweets criticizing the courts for blocking his travel ban executive order. But in doing so, he may have only made it more likely that the courts will continue to block the ban.

These tweets followed several over the weekend about the ban and the terror attack in London, including this one from Saturday night:

In January, Trump signed an executive order barring citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for 90 days, and halting the refugee resettlement program for 120 days (and indefinitely for Syrian refugees). When the courts blocked it, instead of appealing to the Supreme Court, Trump signed a modified version of the order. the new ban repealed the previous one, reduced the number of prohibited countries from seven to six, and added exceptions and exemptions. Still, federal courts in Maryland and Hawaii blocked it, and now the Justice Department has appealed to the Supreme Court to reinstate this second version of the ban.

The biggest question in the ban litigation is whether the courts should focus solely on the text of the order or also consider Trump’s comments during the election campaign, and even during his presidency, to determine whether the order uses national security. as a pretext to ban Muslims from entering the country. The president’s lawyers argue that the courts should focus on the text of the order and defer to the president’s authority over national security. Trump’s tweets Monday morning and over the weekend make it hard for the courts to justify doing that.

The travel ban is supposed to be a temporary remedy until the government can review its investigative procedures. But Trump’s tweets give the impression that the ban itself is his goal. Trump repeatedly and defiantly uses the word “ban” when his administration has tried to call it a pause.

The tweets “undermine the administration’s best argument: that the courts should look no further than the four corners of the Executive Order itself,” Stephen Vladeck, an expert in national security and constitutional law at the University of California College of Law, says by email. University of Texas. “Whether or not then-candidate Trump’s statements matter (a point on which reasonable people are likely to continue to disagree), the more President Trump says while the litigation is ongoing and tends to suggest that the Order is a pretext the more difficult it is to convince him. even sympathetic judges and magistrates that only the text of the Order matters”. And once the courts begin to scrutinize the president’s statements, it’s not hard to find statements that raise questions about anti-Muslim motivations.

Even allies of the president acknowledge that his tweets are a problem. George Conway, husband of top Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, answered Trump on Twitter, noting that the job of the Attorney General’s Office, which defends the travel ban in court, just got harder.

Conway, who recently withdrew his name from consideration for a Justice Department position, went on to clarify his position.

Trump may soon see his tweets used against him in court. Omar Jadwat, the ACLU attorney who argued the case before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, saying the Washington Post this morning that the ACLU legal team is considering adding Trump’s tweets to their arguments before the Supreme Court. in the past, the second ban is kosher if you look at it entirely on its own terms,” ​​Jadwat told the mail.


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