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Judicial Overreach on National Security
Politics on the bench puts American lives at risk.
February 6, 2017
A federal district court judge in the state of Washington temporarily blocked the enforcement of President Trump’s “Executive Order: Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” (Jan. 27, 2017). The executive order had suspended the admission refugees to the United States, including from Syria, and of non-U.S. resident travelers from seven majority Muslim countries considered prone to terrorism. U.S. District Judge James L. Robart, who acted last Friday in a case brought by the states of Washington and Minnesota, specified that his decision is to be implemented nationwide. In issuing his temporary restraining order, the judge found that the states had standing to bring the case, that they were likely to succeed on its merits, and that a temporary restraining order was in “the public interest.” Not surprisingly, President Trump tweeted his displeasure with Judge Robart’s decision.
President Trump has every right to be upset on the merits of Judge Robart’s action, even if his use of the phrase “so-called” in describing the judge may have been a tad over the top. Instead, President Trump might have used the words “irresponsible” or “reckless” in characterizing a decision that is a clear violation of the Constitution’s separation of powers and is potentially detrimental to national security.
Despite the president’s objections, the Trump administration appears to be complying with Judge Robart’s decision to date. However the Department of Justice appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to immediately reverse what Judge Robart had done and restore President Trump’s entry suspension order. The appeals court declined to do so right away. It set forth a briefing schedule calling for the plaintiffs to file their papers by 3am ET on Monday and for the Department of Justice to reply by 6pm ET.