And that’s strike three on the President’s anti-Muslim travel ban.
That’s the call made by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals late Friday in a 77-page ruling that dismantles the president’s third installment of the controversial executive order.
A three-judge panel ruled that, “Trump had again exceeded his lawful authority in issuing the latest ban and that he had not made a legally sufficient finding that entry of those blocked would be ‘detrimental to the interests of the United States,’ ” the Washington Post reports.
The executive order bans travelers from 8 countries, 6 of which are majority-Muslim nations. The other two are North Korea and Venezuela. Two previous versions were ruled completely unconstitutional in federal court.
The central argument the president’s lawyers have made is that, as president, he has the sole constitutional authority to interpret and enforce our nation’s immigration laws. This latest ruling completely demolishes that claim.
The Government argues that the President, at any time and under any circumstances, could bar entry of all aliens from any country, and intensifies the consequences of its position by saying that no federal court—not a federal district court, nor our court of appeals, nor even the Supreme Court itself—would have Article III jurisdiction to review that matter because of the consular nonreviewability doctrine.
Particularly in the absence of an explicit jurisdiction-stripping provision, we doubt whether the Government’s position could be adopted without running roughshod over the principles of separation of powers enshrined in our Constitution.
That’s not all. The judges took aim at the inherent xenophobia that inspired the president’s anti-Muslim travel ban, writing, “In assessing the public interest, we are reminded of Justice Murphy’s wise words: ‘All residents of this nation are kin in some way by blood or culture to a foreign land.’ It cannot be in the public interest that a portion of this country be made to live in fear.”
This ruling, unfortunately, will have no immediate effect. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court lifted lower court injunctions and allowed the full ban to take effect, pending litigation. The high court must now take the 9th Circuit Court’s ruling into consideration and decide what’s next for the millions of people it affects.
But this is still a major defeat for President Trump, one that comes after a week of victory laps by the commander in chief and his Republican allies.
So much for finishing his first year in office on a high note.