Constitution, Immigration, Issues

Politically correct court ruling against Trump travel restrictions reveals judicial tyranny


Under the ridiculous ruling from U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson of the District of Hawaii, temporary travel restrictions on immigration — grants of power to the president enacted by Congress decades ago — from any Muslim-majority countries somehow violate the First Amendment.

But only if the restrictions are issued by President Donald Trump.

Citing “significant and unrebutted evidence of religious animus driving the promulgation of the Executive Order,” including Trump campaign statements purported to be discriminatory of Islam, the court found special First Amendment rights to immigrate to the U.S. to Muslims throughout the world who neither live here nor have any protections under the Constitution.

Image Credit: Joe Ravi CC by-sa 3.0

Photo: Joe Ravi CC by-sa 3.0

But not for Jews, Christians, Hindus or anyone else, apparently, because Trump had not promised announce to block immigration from Israel, Europe or India on the campaign trail. Presumably, Trump could restrict immigration from any country that is not predominantly Muslim, since there were no statements from the Trump campaign in 2016 about doing so.

And, under the ruling, any other president besides Trump might be able to exercise these same powers against predominantly Muslim countries, delegated to the president under the 1952 immigration statute.

There’s only one problem. That is not what the law says, which is a broad grant of power to the president. Not certain presidents based upon a judicially ascertained motive determined by what might have been said on the campaign trail.

Under 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), enacted in 1952, “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”

In other words, the law is blind to motive. It does not matter why Trump wants the travel restrictions, just that he finds certain immigrant entries would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States.” It is a subjective determination, a political question with which the executive has discretion.

Discretion is the key component there. Congress has authorized the president to close down the entire border if he feels it is necessary. It does not matter why. The court has overstepped its bounds.

Americans for Limited Government President in a statement noted the absurdity of the ruling, saying, “If it would be constitutional if issued by former President Obama, then it must then be constitutional under President Trump. The rule of law means equal application of the law and by the judge’s own words, that is not what we have here.”

The judge even acknowledged that “the Executive Order does not facially discriminate for or against any particular religion, or for or against religion versus non-religion.” But never mind what the order actually said. Or that other presidents could issue the order under Judge Watson’s precedent.

And never mind the fact that the government had narrowly tailored the order to apply to just six countries, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, thought to be of higher risk of exporting terrorism — leaving the vast majority of Muslim-majority countries unaffected by the order.

Not finding any evidence of any actual religious discrimination in Trump’s order, the court decided to invent some out of whole cloth, ruling against the order the court wished Trump had issued so that it could overturn it, relying on statements from the president on the 2016 campaign trail to somehow deduce a discriminatory motive by President Trump.

Which, by the way, even if Trump had issued an order barring new non-citizen Muslim entry into the U.S., as he had proposed on the campaign trail, it still would not have violated the Constitution or the statute, because those constitutional protections do not extend overseas.

As Manning concluded in his statement, “It is now clear that federal courts do not intend to hold the acts of President Trump to the same standards as other presidents past or future, instead imposing a separate body of law simply for his administration. In essence, by denying the powers of the president to Trump, the courts are attempting to render their verdict on the outcome of the 2016 election, an intolerable abuse by the judicial branch that Congress must now rein in.”

That is, the exercise of executive power in the conduct of foreign relations — in this case in the area of immigration — under the Constitution and as authorized by Congress, has absolutely zero recourse in courts of law. And it is time Congress said so, by limiting the jurisdiction of federal courts not to examine travel restrictions or any other executive functions where the rights of foreigners who have never set foot on U.S. soil are being invoked.

This is a guest post by Robert Romano senior editor of Americans for Limited Government.
  • scott
    • JeF

      ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^INDEED, INDEED !!!

  • Robert

    you want people to obey the law but when they do obey the law when it differs from your opinion they are violating the law. No President is above the law, and the law says that if anyone can prove through facts that the President or Congress decisions are not based on facts in evidence they can sue to get it corrected. That is exactly what has happened here with the ban on Muslim nations. Trump kept saying he wanted a complete Muslim ban while he was running for President now it has come back to bite him in the A**. Now he must prove in a court of law that this is for National Security and not a religious ban, and since his director of National Security has made a statement says Trumps ban make the US less safe it is going to be a hard row to hoe for Trump.
    The Judges are doing exactly what they are trained to do. The first that shot down Trumps first ban if you care to check he is a hard core Conservative but as he said he can not disregard the laws of the USA. no matter how he feels about a subject, the law is the law and he like everyone else is supposed to obey it.

    • meg

      Trained to do! Then why isn’t he going by the law of the of the US not by their own ideas ! It is just a 90 day ban until they can get illegals checked! what is wrong with that ? Robert .

      • Robert

        The judges are going by the law of the USA, every law has a rule as to when you can use the law and under what circumstances. he judges ruled on the merit of the case, and being the case had good merit then the judge has no way to just say the case is wrong, by law they must let the case go forward to the court. Trump gave the grounds of the case, during his campaign when he said he was going to stop Muslims from coming to this country then writes an EO that does that.
        If you look above to the one to Linda i spelled out in greater detail how it works.

    • Linda

      This judge has clearly overstepped his authority by trying to impose his ruling on every other judge in the United States. As a resident of Texas, we don’t need any immigrants from anywhere. There has already been a dilution of our culture here. Also, the 1952 McCaren-Walter Act is already on the books giving any president broad powers to limit immigration at any time. There is no basis for this judge to interpret that law in the way he has done. The purpose of the law was well stated when it was passed decades ago. It has nothing to do with what President Trump said on the campaign trail. The judges job is not to interpret the campaign but to interpret the law, and he can’t come to the conclusions he came to within those parameters. It’s not this judge’s job to “make law.”

      • Robert

        I really think that the common denominator with Trump supporters is lack of how the system works. What you seem to imply is that what ever the President or Congress does can not be challenged. The President may have broad powers, but he must prove his power is for the reason he says it is, no President has a blank slate, they can be challenged on anything they do. That is the Constitution and that will not change. The judge did not rule on Trump’s EO the judge ruled on the merit of the case against Trump’s order, and everything gets put on hold until a court can hear the case. I read the charge in the court papers which are available on line for anyone to see, and I can see why the Judge said the case had enough merit to go forward, and any appeal would not change the merit of the case. Trump said he wanted a total Muslim ban when he was running for election, then he gets elected and writes an EO banning just Muslims and saying the minority religions can still come here and it is against the law for anyone President or not to discriminate based on religion. So the judges ruling was based on religious discrimination, and the EO itself proved the charge, when Trump wrote that minority religions from the same country were welcome. The judge did not make the law, the judge ruled on the law already in place .The second point of the ruling and the point of the 2nd EO, when the intelligence community who is responsible for the safety of this country and the head of that department said that banning Muslims would not make the US more safe it would make it less safe, because then the intelligence would not know exactly who is here.
        For every law written there is rule which says how it can be applied and when it can be applied. judges must rule on these rules it is not their choice it is the law. Like you going to family court and filing against someone you are afraid of and when it comes to trial you can not prove that the person has in any way done anything towards you or to you, then the judge has no recourse but to rule you have no case. that is exactly why trump did not take it to the Supreme Court there is no way trump can prove the Muslims his EO covers are a threat to the USA.

        • Linda


          I have read the order issued by the judge. He has hung his ruling on the very things we in the conservative community who elected Trump want removed from the demographic of the United States. President Trump is attempting to put in place a social structure which those of us from Western European heritage feel is vital to the continued prosperity of this nation. Virtually, every decision any government makes is going to impact someone emotionally or financially. I don’t recall Obamacare being challenged by those who would be negatively impacted and those far exceed anyone or any institution impacted in this case.

          Our government incorporated Judeo/Christian values when it was created in the late 18th century. To date those values have not changed, but the continued influx of people who do not share those values and who refuse to adopt them, threaten our nation and its principals. Using those values against the desire to maintain the system which worked so well for several hundred years is very cruel irony indeed.

          • Robert

            I do hate to tell you this but the founding of this country was on Freedom Of Religion. The very back bone of our civilization. Before the Constitution was written Christians were killing each other like there was no tomorrow. What did Obama do to atop your religion in any way or direct you to do in your Religion.
            There were some Religious things included in the laws of past but the educated people of this Century have had most of them removed as they should be.No person has a right to tell anyone else how to live his life or with who they decide to live their life with.
            All but, if I remember right, 9 wanted no part of Religion in Government,
            Who ever told you this was a Christian country lied to you this is a Freedom of Religion country where all can worship or not worship freely and with no interference form others.
            The system may have worked for you but what about the others that were forced to live the way you say is wright but not the way they wanted to live.
            Evolution is much stronger than any religion or belief and no one can stop it, thee have been wars over it but evolution moves on.
            A nation is stronger when people are free to live how they want to live not be old how to live, that does not even always work with children.

          • Linda

            You are missing my point. Look at Europe and the “No Go Zones.” Islam is not just a religion–it is a system of laws which are not compatible with what we have in the United States. I don’t wish to be governed by Sharia law. I don’t wish to be perceived as an infidel because I don’t believe as they do. There is no freedom of religion or anything else for me here, and I am a natural-born citizen. I don’t think students in Iowa should apologize for wearing patriotic colors to a sporting event because it might have offended the muslim students of the opposing team. I don’t think school cafeterias should stop serving pork or provide prayer rooms for students. Our culture is being modified by this islamic invasion, and I have nowhere to redress my grievances because it is protected as a religion.

          • Robert

            I lived in Muslim countries for almost 7 years working for the US Government in the intelligence community. The majority of Muslims could care less about religion just like the 61% of Americans who say they are not religious, the say they believe in GOD but not as a specific religion. All faiths lived in the same communities and villages and apartments with no problems. It is the few radicals who push the extreme religion, that is why the others want to get out of the country. The same thing happened here in the 1850s when the Irish immigrated here, then it was about Catholic religion, the movie the Gangs of New York is base on that very same migration. In 100 more years the only thing you will need is an identification car and there will be no restriction on who can go any place. When I went to Yale back in the late 50s this was talked about in group chats, it was part of the Globalization that we talked about and nearly everything that was forecast has come to be, where industry would move to another country for the same reason they came here, we had more cheap labor than we had jobs so industry saw a good chance to make things cheaper. Now it is another country with cheap labors turn.In those next 100 years religion as we know it will completely disappear. I am 80+ years old and have seen a major difference in religion over those years. I and the ones i talk to say it is caused by one thing and only one thing people are becoming better educated and do not have to live on faith alone there are facts that now disproves about half of what I was taught in Sunday School. Some all it the dumbing down of America, I say it is opening the eyes that would still be closed.
            HAVE A GOOD DAY

          • Linda

            Robert, I could tell you were well-educated because your posts contained facts rather than just the “feelings” that so many younger people are driven by today. I, too, have lived out of the country for a number of years in the recent past. For me I lived in Ecuador from 2010 until last summer. I hope you are wrong about only needing an ID card to go anywhere you want to in the future. Human nature seems to require us to belong to something smaller than the whole world. Family, small community perhaps even tribes provide cohesive units in which we are able to be feel comfortable. As a teenager I was married to a muslim from Pakistan, so I understand the non-practicing muslim is not any more radical or religious than a non-practicing Baptist, however, they are culturally different. These differences, particularly in the treatment of women are not compatible with the culture of the United States today. Getting back to the EO and the judge’s ruling, the President needs some vehicle to slow down the immigration of all under-educated peoples regardless of what continent they are from. The United States cannot afford to take care of the needy from all countries whether it is good for American business or not.

  • Robert Trebes

    Judge James Robart, a federal district judge in Seattle ruled in
    favor of a temporary injunction to President Trump’s travel restriction;
    The Judge did not address the ‘Legal’ issue!…Does the President of the
    United States have the ‘Legal’ authority to issue the travel
    ‘Restriction’?…The answer is, Constitutionally yes, Legislatively
    yes…If I were the President, I would inform Judge Robart as I believe
    President Andrew Jackson told the Supreme Court in his day when he felt
    the Supreme Court ruled in a manner that they had exceeded their ‘Legal’
    authority; President Jackson informed the Supreme Court, you have made
    your ‘Ruling’, now try to ‘Enforce’ your ‘Ruling’…Oh, by the way, the
    ‘Court’ has no legal authority to enforce your ruling, only the
    Executive Branch has that authority. No Judge has the ‘Authority’ to
    make ‘Foreign Policy’, that Right belongs to the President of the United
    States as written in the U.S. Constitution!…No Judge has the
    ‘Authority’ to over-ride the President of the United States in matters
    of national Security as defined in the Constitution and by U.S. Statute!
    I would forward this unlawful order to the U.S. Attorney for possible
    criminal wrong doing on this Judge’s order. It is time to crack down on
    Judge’s that are trying to ‘Legislate’ from the Bench as opposed to
    interpreting the law at hand!
    The US is in the middle of a Constitutional Crisis, if President Trump does
    not rein in this Federal Judge right now, America that we grew up in,
    will NO longer exist! When you have 1 branch of ‘Equal’ Government
    usurp the Constitutional Authority of the Executive Branch that not only
    has Constitutional Authority but Statute Authority to implement this
    Executive Order…I believe this may be a ‘Prima Fascia’ case for
    Sedition and Treason and this Judge is trying to usurp the US
    Constitution (Treason)!
    Thomas Jefferson not only refused to
    enforce the Alien & Sedition Acts of President John Adams, his party
    impeached Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase who had presided over one
    of the trials.
    Jackson defied Chief Justice John
    Marshall’s prohibition against moving the Cherokees out of Georgia to
    west of the Mississippi.
    When Chief Justice Roger Taney declared
    that President Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of the writ of habeas corpus
    violated the Constitution, Lincoln considered sending U.S. troops to
    arrest the chief justice.
    FDR proposed adding six justices to
    emasculate a Supreme Court of the “nine old men” he reviled for having
    declared some New Deal schemes unconstitutional.

  • Robert Trebes

    Trump can argue that because the federal court in Boston approved Trump’s Jan. 27 ban in a detailed 21-page order, “the president would be in his legal rights to say: ‘There’s a conflict between the courts. Until the Supreme Court addresses this, I’m going to do what’s appropriate to keep the country safe.’”
    Barnes acknowledged the media backlash that would ensue, but he noted that Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz made that argument when the Ninth Circuit upheld a block on the original order by a federal judge in Seattle. Banzhaf pointed out the U.S. law cited in the Trump order, 8 USC 1182(f), gives the president the authority to “impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”It says that he can make an order based upon class of person. And I think any reasonable reading of that doesn’t mean he’s going to differentiate based upon tall people or short people or whether they have long noses or short noses,” Banzhof explained.
    “When you say class, you’re talking about ethnicity, you’re talking about religion, you’re talking about country of origin,” he said.
    The statute reads:
    Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.


    hawaii has NO border with ANY country, including the U. S. of A!!

    So I guess that hawaii has NO STANDING in ANY immigration policy or ban, whether legal or ILLEGAL, permanent or TEMPORARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    • JeF

      Meanwhile, with all of the aggrandizement being put forth below, Illegal aliens are riding high on the failure of the Govt. to control the borders, and laughing behind their backs.
      Bloviate all you want peoples; the hazards are real and near to you and everyone else.

    • ch2801

      Send all refregees to Hawaii.

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