By Ann Corcoran
The Trump Administration will defend the so-called “travel ban” in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals today in Richmond, Virginia. Next week, the 9th Circuit will hear the case that includes the “travel ban” and the refugee moratorium.
USA Today cites the extraordinary efforts the 4th Circuit will make as the entire court will hear it:
….Both courts are among the most liberal in the country.
The Richmond hearing will be held in front of the entire 15-member U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, which is extremely unusual. Appeals court cases usually go before three-judge panels; the full court only rarely agrees to hear cases even after a panel rules.
“It’s been more than half a century since the court has done it,” Tumlin [Karen Tumlin, NILC’s legal director] says. “It’s a bit of a legal unicorn. You don’t get this very often.”
Here is what Reuters is saying about the cases which most assume will end up in the Supreme Court, but not until the fall. By the way, one of the main issues the opponents of Trump are hanging their legal hats on is what Trump said while campaigning. I’m not a lawyer but I can’t see that as anything the Supreme Court would want to turn into a precedent.
Imagine the legal fun later if candidates’ campaign words were used in legal cases against them when they attempted to legislate after they were elected (by the voters!). It would truly mean that courts are ruling America and not elected representatives of the people.
Legal challenges to President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban on people from some Muslim-majority countries heat up again next week when two U.S. appeals courts consider whether it is constitutional.
Omar Jadwat, an attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union, who will be arguing the case at the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia on Monday, said the fact that so much time has passed since the ban was issued is proof that there was no pressing national security need for it in the first place. [Ha! Not much of a legal argument! We can’t possibly know that yet! Someone admitted in the last few weeks could be an Islamic terrorist who doesn’t act for years!—ed]
The Department of Homeland Security “is, and will be, continuously examining ways to enhance the screening and vetting process to shut down terrorist and criminal pathways into the United States,” agency spokesman David Lapan said. “Some improvements will be classified, others will be public, but the Department has only just begun ways to enhance the security of our immigration system,” he said in an email.
Opponents – including states and civil rights groups – say that both the first ban and the revised ban, which also put a halt to all refugee admissions to the country for four months, discriminates against Muslims.
The 4th Circuit will decide the fate of a ruling from a Maryland district judge that struck down a section of the revised executive order barring visitors from Syria, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Yemen and Somalia.
The hearing will take place before 14 full-time judges of the appellate court. Ten of them were appointed by Democrats, and four by Republicans.
Then, on March 15 [Must be May 15, thanks to a reader for catching this!—ed], a three-judge panel at the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will review a decision from a Hawaii judge that halted not just the travel portion of the ban but also the section that barred refugees. The judges – who will sit on a panel in Seattle – have been assigned but their identities have not been made public.
More from Reuters here.
Please see that the refugee portion of the EO is not being considered today in Richmond. Only the Hawaii judge was aggressive enough to include the refugee moratorium and reduced ceiling in his decision. The Maryland judge clearly must have recognized that refugee admissions across the board are within the power of the President to regulate according to the Refugee Act of 1980. Trump should have ignored the rogue Hawaiian judge on refugee admissions, but alas, he didn’t!
See RRW’s right hand side bar where I track numbers admitted in FY2017 every few days. This is from last Friday:
May 5, 2017: 43,241 admitted (this is 5,135 refugees since the supposed moratorium began and 13,119 since Trump was inaugurated).
Watch the 4th Circuit/ACLU show live today (2:30 Eastern) by going here: https://www.c-span.org/video/?427706-1/fourth-circuit-hears-oral-argument-travel-ban