Terrorism

Shouldn't the DOJ Know About Terrorists From Countries Covered by Trump's Travel Ban?

The government's failure to cite relevant examples helped ensure its defeat.

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U.S. Courts

At a hearing before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on Tuesday, Justice Department lawyer August Flentje was repeatedly asked for evidence that President Trump's travel ban addresses "a real risk" of terrorism. Flentje came up short, as reflected in the 9th Circuit's explanation of its refusal to override a temporary restraining order against the ban. The appeals court says "the Government has pointed to no evidence that any alien from any of the countries named in the Order [Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen] has perpetrated a terrorist attack in the United States."

That much is true, but it's not because there is no such evidence. Last September, for example, a Somali-American named Dahir Adan was shot and killed after attacking shoppers with a knife at a mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Ten people were injured. Two months later, a Somali refugee named Abdul Razak Ali Artan was shot and killed after ramming people with his car and stabbing them with a knife at Ohio State University in Columbus. Thirteen people were injured. In addition to those cases, Cato Institute immigration analyst Alex Nowrasteh has identified half a dozen people from Iran, Iraq, and Somalia who have been convicted in the United States of charges related to domestic terrorism since 9/11.

Flentje should have known about these cases, and so should Michelle Bennett, the DOJ lawyer who represented the Trump administration at the U.S. District Court hearing last Friday that preceded the TRO. James Robart, the federal judge who issued the TRO later that day, asked Bennett, "How many arrests have there been of foreign nationals from those seven countries since 9/11?" She did not know. "I'm from the civil division, if that helps get me off the hook any," she said with a smile. Robart replied (incorrectly) that "the answer to that is none, as best I can tell."

William Canby, one of the 9th Circuit judges, noted that exchange during Tuesday's hearing, giving Flentje a chance to set the record straight. He did not take it. "Yes, your honor," he replied, seeming to confirm Robart's inaccurate statement. "These proceedings have been moving quite fast, and we're doing the best we can."

That is pretty shocking if true. It was inevitable that judges would ask this sort of question, and the answer is a matter of public record. Once Bennett was stumped, Flentje should have known the question would come up again in the appeals court. Yet both Bennett and Flentje left the impression that no one from the seven banned countries has been implicated in domestic terrorism, which is clearly not correct.

While Robart and Canby overstated the case, it is accurate to say that people from the countries covered by Trump's travel ban have been responsible for only a small share of terrorist activity and zero deadly attacks in the United States since 1975. To my mind, those facts cast doubt on the logic of Trump's criteria, which supposedly are aimed at protecting Americans from terrorists. But the legal significance of those doubts is a matter of dispute. While Bennett argued that Robart should not examine the empirical basis for Trump's order, Robart insisted that "I have to find fact as opposed to fiction."

The 9th Circuit also rejected Trump's contention that the risk assessment underlying his order is beyond judicial review. But it is not clear how logical the order must be to pass constitutional muster. The fit between Trump's ostensible goal and the means he chose is relevant in evaluating the argument that his order improperly discriminates against Muslims, which can be construed as an equal protection claim, an Establishment Clause claim, or a religious freedom claim. It also might be relevant in deciding what due process means for people affected by the order, assuming it means anything at all.

At this stage of the case, the nature and magnitude of the danger addressed by the travel ban were relevant in assessing the government's claim that leaving the TRO in place would cause "irreparable harm." And that is where Bennett and Flentje clearly fell down on the job. "Despite the district court's and our own repeated invitations to explain the urgent need for the Executive Order to be placed immediately into effect," the 9th Circuit observes, "the Government submitted no evidence to rebut the States' argument that the district court's order merely returned the nation temporarily to the position it has occupied for many previous years."

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  1. Civil servant sabotage?

    1. I don’t know, but if it is, this would be relevant.

      (too loud for work)

  2. You know, this is the 9th Circuit–let’s be honest. The ‘judges’ decided on their verdict long before they’d ever stepped into that courtroom.

    1. …and let’s also be honest, the Trump legal team did nothing to support their claims of needing to protect the country from immanent harm. Its clowns all the way down in that group.

      1. Except that sort of strikes me as utterly irrelevant. I’m not inclined to think that it should the role of judges to decide the wisdom or advisability of a policy, so much as to rule on its legality constitutionality. It stems from saying judges can accept constitutional violations “if the government has a really good reason”. In this case the “Muslim ban” claim is just ludicrous on its face. If the case had been made on INA grounds, I’d be sympathetic.

        1. Considering the lawsuit said harm had befallen those residing in the US (having their relatives turned back, separating spouses, and restricting travel of legal VISA holders while on US soil), I’d say those people’s constitutional rights were violated.

      2. Trump legal team did nothing to support their claims of needing to protect the country from immanent [sp] harm

        It wouldn’t matter if the perceived risk were “imminent”, or “amorphous”, or “potential long-term”, or any other variety of threat.

        the law =

        8 U.S. Code ? 1182

        (f) Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by President
        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

        “detrimental to the interests” is wide enough to drive a fleet of buses through.

        & the “proclamation” bit indicates that the only process needed is for the president to ‘say so’;

        the reason they lawyer ignored questions of evidence is because they weren’t relevant to the argument, as far as i can tell.

        You are being head-faked by a line of questioning; or as Jacob gently put it – “the legal significance of those doubts is a matter of dispute.”

        The basis of the claims against the order have nothing to legally hook onto (as far as i can tell), so the courts are fishing for statements they can later refer to.

        1. So we’re ignoring any justification of “detrimental to the interests” and putting everything down on “proclamation”.

          Your dictatorship is waiting Mr. President.

          1. Since that is in fact the law, and since the constitution gives the federal government the power to make immigration and naturalization law, that is what the court must decide on. Not whether the court agrees or disagrees with the president’s judgment in the matter.

            1. Ugh, it becomes a point of semantics whether or not the constitution regards fiat declaration by the president rule of law regardless of effect on the nation. If trump decided to halt all trade and travel to and from the US for 90 days, regardless of harm to our economy, I sincerely doubt there would be no argument for putting that man in a straight jacket and hurling him off the nearest bridge in protection of national interests.

              1. If trump decided to halt all trade and travel to and from the US for 90 days, regardless of harm to our economy, I sincerely doubt there would be no argument for putting that man in a straight jacket and hurling him off the nearest bridge in protection of national interests.

                Unless a couple of planes hit the side of a couple buildings then, you know, have at it.

                1. The list of countries who are the home countries of terrorists that have actually killed Americans here from the mid 70’s on is Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Lebanon, Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan. None of them is on his list. That has to make you wonder if his stated purpose is what his real purpose is.

                  1. None of them is on his list. That has to make you wonder if his stated purpose is what his real purpose is.

                    The countries already on the list are places where the Obama admin / State department determined people were risking persecution (by jihadis, presumably), and that would therefore make people from there eligible for refugee status.

                    Saudi Arabia and Pakistan et al aren’t on the list because they were never considered sources of refugees, or ‘failed states’, etc.

                    its that simple = like with other things Trump has done (e.g. deportations), he’s basically taken rationales already in place by the previous admin and used them for his purposes.

                  2. Just because other nations you think should be on the list are not on the list does not automatically null the nations that are on the list

          2. In this one, narrow area of “How foreigners are treated @ the border” = yes, the president wields pretty amazingly broad and dictatorial powers. Simply noting that is a fact isn’t an endorsement of such a thing.

            While our govt has substantial checks and balances, there is little constitutional appeal relevant for non-citizens not yet granted entry.

            The only real dicey angle here is the way the EO was applied (wrongly, in my opinion) to green card holders. If the courts limited themselves to their due process rights, they would have a substantial angle to challenge that portion of it. But they didn’t. and the questioning they were making about the executive’s “rationale” (and which you seem fixated on) remains entirely irrelevant.

            1. The only real dicey angle here is the way the EO was applied (wrongly, in my opinion) to green card holders. If the courts limited themselves to their due process rights, they would have a substantial angle to challenge that portion of it. But they didn’t. and the questioning they were making about the executive’s “rationale” (and which you seem fixated on) remains entirely irrelevant.

              The argument for proof relates to how the order is written, which cause harm to visa and green card holders. Just because the president decided to relax that issue doesn’t remove its question from the broadly worded EO. So in challenging the EO, rather than piecemeal out provisions, the court is telling the administration they need to fix their own shit and not rely on court rubber stamping.

              1. Just because the president decided to relax that issue doesn’t remove its question from the broadly worded EO

                they have to defend portions they have no intention of enforcing?

                I don’t think “fix their own shit” is a legal argument

                1. yes you have to defend the portions you don’t intend to enforce, because you damn well wrote it in there and you’re not changing the wording to show commitment to not enforcing those items. Why the fuck would I sign a document which says “I get your life savings” when you tell me “Don’t worry about it, I’m not going to enforce that provision”

                  1. yes you have to defend the portions you don’t intend to enforce, because you damn well wrote it in there and you’re not changing the wording to show commitment to not enforcing those items.

                    The legal wording of the statute under which the Refugee-ban stuff took place doesn’t change because it happens to be alongside other, less-legally-defensible portions.

                    meaning = most of the EO is still legal. yet they’re trying to throw the whole thing out.

                    you seem to be claiming that it must be an all-or-nothing approach, and i don’t think that is at all correct.

                2. “they have to defend portions they have no intention of enforcing?”

                  The fuck? It’s still a part of the EO. If you courts were to rule the EO as legal, those parts of the EO would become legal as well. Meaning, you have to rule the EO is unlawful regardless of how small a percentage the parts that are unlawful are. Either it’s lawful in its entirety or it isn’t. You don’t get to say “lol, ignore the illegal part, because we might not enforce it.”

                  1. Either it’s lawful in its entirety or it isn’t.

                    I’m pretty sure that’s wrong. Anything legal in it would remain legal and enforceable even if some portions were being challenged.

                    its why the courts initially just stayed just a portion of the order

                    if you’re correct and they can strike the whole order based on one portion, what’s stopping the Exec from simply submitting a new order with everything except the problematic portions? It would suddenly make the entire process moot.

                    1. f you’re correct and they can strike the whole order based on one portion, what’s stopping the Exec from simply submitting a new order with everything except the problematic portions? It would suddenly make the entire process moot.

                      I do kinda want him to do this piecemeal order/proclamation every day. Preferably via twitter and using a bot. Just so we can get this whole Robot Overlords v. Butlerian Jihad show on the road already.

                  2. IANAL, but I do negotiate contracts with some frequency, and typically you would include what’s known as a ‘severability clause’ which specifies that if any part of the contract/order/law is found to be illegal/unconstitutional then the rest still stands as if that clause weren’t included.

                    If it doesn’t have a severability clause, then the argument can be made that the whole things needs to be accepted or scrapped in its entirety.

                    I haven’t read the TRO, so I don’t know if that’s in there.

          3. Whether the entry of certain aliens is detrimental to US interests is also entirely up to the president’s own judgement, according to the law.

            I think the law gives the president powers that are too broad and open ended. But that’s what it says. Unless you are going to challenge the constitutionality of the law that enables the order, I don’t see a case against it.

            1. This case IS challenging the constitutionality of the action.

              1. He said “law,” not “action”

        2. Nearly every statute delegating a decision to the president or an executive agency is written like this. The courts have always said that this doesn’t mean that they can’t review whether the decision is reasonable and in accord with any statutory standards.

        3. On the face it looks legal. However just because someone is not a US citizen does not deprive them of certain Constitutional protections once they are in the United States. Those include the due process, habeas corpus, and religious aspects of the order. Those aspects *are* up to judicial review. No mere legislation or proclamation can overturn what is explicitly protected by the Constitution.

    2. Are they not actually judges? Did the flags in the courtroom have gold fringe?

  3. There have also been 9 members of the Somali expatriate community in Minneapolis who have been convicted of trying to join ISIS. Dozens more are known to have gone to Syria to fight with ISIS.

    “The appeals court says “the Government has pointed to no evidence that any alien from any of the countries named in the Order [Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen] has perpetrated a terrorist attack in the United States.”

    Someone also might have countered that whether terrorist attacks have been perpetrated here within our borders is a bit of a red herring considering that ISIS has used asylum seekers as cover to infiltrate Europe and perpetrate terrorist attacks there.

    Is there a compelling reason to believe they won’t do the same in the United States? Does ISIS like us better than the Europeans?

    1. Blame the Trump legal team, not the judges. The temporary ban, properly provisioned and vetted, is really not what’s on trial here. Its Trump’s version of shoot first, ask questions later. That his own legal team can’t support any of his provisions with facts and figures suggests that those things weren’t applied in the first place to the hasty and blindly released EO. Trump is rightly getting slapped around for his imprudent actions, brought on by the circus he calls an advisory team.

    2. Being separated from the conflict by an ocean helps. The US can be a lot more selective in who is admitted. The only way our situation would be like Europe would be if all of central America converted to Islam.

      Not saying it’s nothing to worry about. But the situation will never be the same as in Europe unless we just start taking any refugee who asks.

  4. The appeals court says “the Government has pointed to no evidence that any alien from any of the countries named in the Order [Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen] has perpetrated a terrorist attack in the United States.”

    Which is totally irrelevant to whether the EO is unconstitutional or not.

    1. When you consider the fact that the states filing claimed harm to the people and businesses because of the actions taking, its relevant to the lawsuit and how it violates protections of citizens and people residing in the US.

      1. “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,” the 1952 law states.

        Whether or not the states filing claimed harm to the people and businesses because of the actions taken is irrelevant to the legality of the order. The order may be a bad idea, but that doesn’t make it illegal, which is the only matter for the courts to decide.

        1. Right, so if the state bulldozes your house for eminent domain and throws a pile of money at you, obviously you have no right to complain and no judge could find that you’d been harmed by a legal action the state took against you, regardless of the nuances of the case.

          1. 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

            Also the word “finds” has a meaning, and that meaning is not “wants to fulfill a campaign pledge, evidence be damned”. The Ninth Circuit judges were poking a sharp stick at the executive branch’s due diligence in fulfilling that whole “finds” thing, and finding it exceedingly lacking.

            1. Its akin to getting a possible legit answer on the test and getting a note from the teacher of “Show your damn work”

            2. The meaning of “finds” is “discover or perceive”, and it is pretty clear that “perceive” has a lot of latitude. It does not mean “prove” or “demonstrate”. So the court is still full of shit.

              1. really?!?! you really believe one man’s unknowable opinion should be the basis for all travel restrictions?

                1. I’m just spit-balling here, but maybe WTF doesn’t think the ban is okay, but acknowledges that the law gives the cheeto wide fucking latitude?

                  1. I’m just spit-balling here, but maybe WTF doesn’t think the ban is okay, but acknowledges that the law gives the cheeto wide fucking latitude?

                    Some people can’t distinguish between “criticism of a bad argument” and “endorsing the thing being argued against”

          2. If in fact it is done for a public use, and I receive fair market compensation, yes the state has the power to do so under the constitution and the courts should rightly decide that it was legal and constitutional regardless of harm to me. Everything that you dislike is not automatically illegal and unconstitutional, no matter how much you might wish it to be so.

            1. But if there was harm done to you, the court has the right to review why your house was eminent domained and if its because you pissed off the wrong councilman and they decided to dedicate a park to that councilman on the remains of your former abode, you’d be damn right in challenging the order.

              1. this is not selling as a point of comparison. When your house has been torn down, it’s gone. Whatever harm may be rectified with a larger check. Any harm here is someone being delayed entry for a few days, something that can be handled rather quickly.

                1. 90 days is arbitrary and subject to change by EO. And depending on people’s financial circumstances or lifetimes, may be permanent. Some modicum of thought needed to be put into this EO to mitigate the harm and none was provided and they have no justification for such an act.

                  1. Again – wholly unlike your house scenario, it is not permanent. And the justification has been demonstrated in the wording of the US Code itself that covers this. Yes, the administration could have differentiated between green card holders and others, but now we’re arguing the scope of the order and not its legality.

          3. If that pile of money was the fair market value of your land, then your case would be thrown out faster than sarcasmic kicks out a fat chick.

      2. Let us be clear that there were multiple provisions of the EO that were enjoined by the courts. The (1) due process rights that legal permanent residents are (probably?) entitled to by law are distinct from (2) the President’s authority to revoke visas or prevent entry of visa holders and both of those matters are distinct from (3) the President’s authority to deny the issuance of new visas. Those are 3 different issues that are being conflated together.

        Issue (1) involves the separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches, which can be adjudicated by the courts. Issue (2) involves a standard of proof that may not have been met, which can be adjudicated by the courts. Issue (3) involves an enumerated power of the Government, an explicit grant of authority from Congress to the President, and no rights of the people, and thus falls beyond the purview of the courts to adjudicate. Yet the injunction covers all 3 issues.

    2. The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution prohibits the Government from depriving individuals of their “life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.?”

      The Government has not shown that the Executive Order provides what due process requires, such as notice and a
      hearing prior to restricting an individual’s ability to travel. Indeed, the Government does not contend that the Executive
      Order provides for such process.

      There are also First Amendment concerns because President Trump several times stated that he would institute a “Muslim Ban”, which of course has everything to do with a religion.

      1. And I don’t know if this is actually written into the TRO (haven’t read it), but there’s been talk of an exception for Christians from those countries, which would make it hard to argue there’s no “religious test” being applied . . .

        1. An exception for Christians because Christians are being targeted there for genocide. The “religious test” is being applied by ISIS.

          1. They have ISIS in Yemen and Iran?

  5. Trump could make this all go away by simply rescinding the order and reissuing it, this time with clearer language and all the government lawyers and relevant departments onboard.

    But he won’t because that would too sensible and at this point his ego is at stake more than anything else.

    1. This. This is exactly what he would do if he wasn’t such a fucking egomaniacal narcissist.

      Also, everyone with a three digit IQ knows damn well that the Supreme Court is going to ultimately uphold the president’s right to ban threats to the country from coming in, unless George Soros is able to successfully have a couple more justices assassinated maybe.

    2. Very unlikely. It would probably be seen as an end run by the court, and the current restraining order would be immediately be applied to it.

      1. But that’s the whole point, everyone agrees that the president has the right to ban threats, but no one has gotten a serious argument from our dear overlord what specific threats we are being protected from that warrants such extreme provisions. If the man would just step back from the edge, fix his damn 3rd grader mentality and rewrite the provision, we’d all be spared this BS.

        1. It’s not that simple. They aren’t going to remove the TRO unless the government can show that there would be irreparable harm by leaving it in place, and they already failed to do that.

          1. Your assumption or do you have some legal understanding of the restraining order…

            1. It’s what the court said, and in fact it’s quoted right in this article:

              “Despite the district court’s and our own repeated invitations to explain the urgent need for the Executive Order to be placed immediately into effect, the Government submitted no evidence to rebut the States’ argument that the district court’s order merely returned the nation temporarily to the position it has occupied for many previous years.”

              This is pretty standard stuff. If it might do harm to some, and you can’t prove that the harm it prevents is great enough to make that risk necessary, then a restraining order is going to be put in place by the court.

              1. “Show your damn work you idiots”

    3. Bingo! A rewrite that clarified some points and addressed the concerns arisen from the lawsuit would make this way more defensible and all go away, but Trump’s precious ego is at stake and he will concede no ground to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

    4. Baloney.

      First of all, he’d face having the order bogged down indefinitely by the bureaucracy. Secondly, the judges would almost certainly treat it as an end run, as FB suggests.

      1. I call BS on this. A properly worded and considered EO ban that provided some measure of protection of visa holders and green card holders rights on American soil would have been upheld.

        1. That would be a compromise you (and I) would be happy with. But, if the courts are going to step in and assess the advisability of their policy, they can easily enough decide that, given the rarity of actual terrorist attacks, no such ban is warranted.

          1. Given that the courts haven’t decided that…you’re projecting.

            1. given the history of the Ninth Circus, that the EO would be coming from Trump means the decision would be the same. All the usual suspects who bitched the first time would bitch again. The actual arguments would be ignored again. The Court would rule as it did again.

  6. So, the 9th Circuit is gonna take a good long look at the Visa Waiver voiding/exemptions from the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act next, right?

    I mean, if you we sufficiently lack terrorists to even justify an executive order that’s tacitly justified by terrorism than passing a law explicitly motivated by terrorism would be beyond the pale, right?

    1. The justices don’t have to do the lawyers work for them, they just have to apply the precedents and arguments made before the rule of law and see what stands. Acts of congress not challenged do not have to be tried as well.

      1. Sorry, yeah, I was being a bit sarcastic. I know full well the court isn’t going to go off looking for unconstitutional laws to repeal.

        My issue/gripe is more with Reason and the media/public at large playing favorites in this regard. The constitution literally says that ‘congress shall make no law’ not that ‘the president shall issue no orders’. The whole issue needs to be consistently questioned all the way back up to the AUMF. But not even a libertarian web publication is interested in doing it.

        I agree with you that the issue is *Trump’s version* of shooting first and asking questions later. Nobody set fire to Berkeley or protested at LAX when Obama was drawing lines, threatening war, and making the country less safer because Russia/Syria.

        1. The legality of modern “executive orders” is from an “emergency” WWI War Powers Act, later expanded in ’34 (or somewhere thereabout) to allow them to take affect domestically as well as internationally. That “emergency” has never been officially ended.

  7. Best counter argument that wasn’t made by Trump’s (inherited) DOJ.
    Perhaps Trump should have hired you Sullum, at least you could have cited some real irreparable harm, like being a murder victim.

    1. Sorry, attempted murder victim.

  8. “The government’s failure to cite relevant examples helped ensure its defeat.”

    …which is utterly irrelevant to the question regarding the constitutionality of Trump’s EO.

    1. Right. But it’s relevant to whether or not the restraining order would be removed.

  9. Ironically the Somali attacks were false flags. The MN mall stabber was a patsy for the private security industry and the OH driver/stabber was a victim of microagression mental illness indoctrination along with CVE. They were ironically trying to discredit their own religions. Fortunately the embrace given to them by the Americans in protest of Trump’s power grab will take the wind out of their sails. It’s quite an irony.

  10. “the Government has pointed to no evidence that any alien from any of the countries named in the Order [Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen] has perpetrated a terrorist attack in the United States.”

    That much is true, but it’s not because there is no such evidence. Last September, for example, a Somali-American named Dahir Adan was shot and killed after attacking shoppers with a knife at a mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

    We have another word for “Somali-American” — aka “American citizen”. Using this as an example is like justifying a travel ban on everyone from Africa because an African-American did something nasty.

    Aaand, the apparently exhaustive list of acts of “domestic violence” is really short:

    Cato Institute immigration analyst Alex Nowrasteh has identified half a dozen people from Iran, Iraq, and Somalia who have been convicted in the United States of charges related to domestic terrorism since 9/11.

    So, 4 out of the 7 countries on the banned travel list had ZERO cases of immigrants committing acts of domestic terrorism, and the other three had an average of two such people? Based on this, one might surmise that the people coming from these countries were some of the most law-abiding people in America, at least in the absence of information about the percentage of immigrants from countries not on the short list who also committed acts of “domestic terrorism”, or the percentage of American citizens who committed such acts.

    1. Look dude, this isn’t about facts, or sober threat assessments, or even articulable reasons. This is about the countless hidden dangers that lurk around every corner waiting to kill Americans by the bucketload, and the only man who has the courage and the unknowable wisdom to save us all.

      1. Superman? Batman? Wonder Woman?

      2. Well said, though you forgot the /sarc for those noobs who are unfamiliar with how this works.

        Still, you would think Jacob Sullum, who is one of the more … well, sober isn’t quite the word, since he apparently tokes up a lot … sensible writers here would look at what he’s written and play Devil’s Advocate and find that “Somali-American” doesn’t mean what he thinks it means in this context, for example.

        1. sarc tags are for the weak.

    2. I think the argument here is that the lawyers could have presented some potential for harm from individuals whose origin was from those countries, but instead went with the tack of “yeah, but this article here states we can do whatever we want with no justification” I feel that is what didn’t sit well with the judges. A president still needs a modicum of reasoning for his actions, regardless of what any article says in the Constitution. Otherwise, we become a dictatorship where any level of harm to people in our borders can be justified through an EO.

    3. Dahir Adan was foreign-born and immigrated to the United States. Adan was a member of Minnesota’s Somali refugee community, the nation’s largest.

  11. It seems to me the statute gives the president too much arbitrary power, and Congress should never have passed it.

    1. drop in the bucket…and that is why there are systems in place, as aggravating and flawed as they may be. Congress may one day discover its role again to check the presidency and overrule the courts (through constitutional amendments) but today is not that day.

    2. which may well be but is not for this court to decide.

      1. get the fuck out of this country and go hang out with Putin. He’s got a gulag for you to run.

        1. I think you’re lost – this isn’t some left-wing amen chorus troll factory where conformity of thought is required. Jesus, from eminent domain to Putin. How many rhetorical fallacies are you going to exhaust today?

  12. Trump DoJ and 9th Circuit, another sequel to Dumb and Dumber.

  13. An effective leader admits his mistakes and corrects them if he can. Trump should say, “We acted hastily with this EO and I’m sorry for any inconvenience, etc. I have issued a new amended EO that addresses the legal resident question but still provides a temporary halt to immigration from the seven countries previously established, by the Obama Administration, as possibly not doing enough to vet potential terrorists. I’m sure that most Americans want immigrants and visitors to the United States to be vetted so that criminals and potential terrorists can’t come in.
    I’m confident the courts will find no problems with this new EO.” Being humbled may embolden his most rabid opposition, but will encourage the fence-sitters that their president is not totally out of control. And, if the threat of terrorism is so great, why would Trump allow his ego to keep fighting this for weeks/months instead of doing the right thing and issuing an amended EO?

    1. An effective leader admits his mistakes and corrects them if he can.
      semi-related but this highlights the difference between the private and public sectors. The business Trump would almost assuredly shift fire if an idea did not work, partly because there is a financial cost to failure but also partly due to that decision being made largely out of sight.

      The public arena has people for whom failure or the admission of it, even the admission of a mistake, becomes its own story for however long people want to debate it. Sanity is cast to the wind – almost no one says “well, he/she/they saw a problem with this idea and fixed it.” Instead, it becomes the focus of partisan warfare. Also in this case, the principal is Trump, meaning an emotion-based response from those who would oppose his doing anything about anything.

      1. Lincoln wasn’t adverse to changing generals until he found one who could effectively fight. He took lots of opposition crap but – to his supporters and most historians – did the right thing. Trump has to weight “looking weak” against “keeping America safe” (if that is, indeed, what he believes.)

      2. I’d say that if Trump changes course on any issue whatever, he’ll do it in the least apologetic manner possible.

        “We learned some great lessons from this, and now based on these lessons I’m gonna make things even better, believe me.”

    2. An effective leader, when faced with someone questioning his authority over some particular matter, will seek to squash that someone like a bug if he believes that someone is lacking in authority over that particular matter.

      This is more about establishing and/or enforcing the limits of executive authority than any concern about what that authority might actually accomplish.

      Obama played the same game with the courts many times over the last eight years. His batting average on executive power was sub minor league. Not that that ever seemed to stop him from swinging hard every time.

    3. I think the retards who voted for him should have been well aware that a septuagenarian mental case wasn’t going to learn on the job how to be a decent, intelligent person, and that probably we should have expected the president to be such before he takes office.

        1. You really want to be on record supporting this guy?

  14. Is this a failure of Trump’s people, or a failure of Trump to pure Obama’s people and get his team installed?

    1. The buck stops with someone but not the president who while being a gelatinous lump of fascist marmalade is for some reason someone worth defending by libertarians!

      1. It wasn’t rhetorical. Either way it’s Trump’s failure, and I could believe either scenario, due to the cackhandedness of the EO on the one hand, and the insubordination of the recently fired acting AG on the other.

  15. TRUMP: “So your name is Flentje, is it? I’m thinking of another word which also begins with ‘F’.”

    FLENTJE: “Is it ‘promotion’?”

    1. (Just to be clear, in that scene Vader doesn’t kill Captain Needa, he simply gives him a stern talking to which makes Needa collapse and have to be taken to his room to recuperate)

  16. On September 10, 2001, no Saudis had ever flown a plane into a New York skyscraper. Doesn’t mean that the threat potential was nil.

    1. On December 6, 1941, no Americans had ever been killed by a Japanese military force attacking American territory. So there was absolutely nothing to worry about, was there?

      As the mutual fund companies like to say, past performance is no guarantee of future results.

  17. that said my house has never been on fire but I still keep a fire extinguisher there. Prevention is not always in response to something but to the potential for something. Maybe these lawyers hearts weren’t in their job and failed to do their due diligence than anyone with a network connection can do.

  18. Anyone who could reason at all would look at the crime/terrorism rate of incumbent immigrants/refugees and see if it makes sense. If the -rate- is lower than the average rate of such violence in the general populace then it makes some sense to not worry about it, if it is higher then Trump might have a point. All current analysis points out that the rate is much much less than the rate amongst US citizens. Therefore Trump doesn’t have a point and is feeding the fear of his Trumpkins which is irrational and dangerous.

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