Today, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the lower court’s blocking President Trump’s executive order suspending travel two/from 7 terrorist-active Muslim countries for three months, until more stringent vetting procedures could be created.
Here, from the court’s ruling, is why:
The evidence in the record, viewed from the standpoint of the reasonable observer, creates a compelling case that EO-2’s primary purpose is religious. Then-candidate Trump’s campaign statements reveal that on numerous occasions, he expressed anti Muslim sentiment, as well as his intent, if elected, to ban Muslims from the United States. For instance, on December 7, 2015, Trump posted on his campaign website a “Statement on Preventing Muslim Immigration,” in which he “call[ed] for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our representatives can figure out what is going on” and remarked, “[I]t is obvious to anybody that the hatred is beyond comprehension. . . . [O]ur country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.” J.A. 346. In a March 9, 2016 interview, Trump stated that “Islam hates us,” J.A. 516, and that “[w]e can’t allow people coming into this country who have this hatred,” J.A. 517. Less than two weeks later, in a March 22 interview, Trump again called for excluding Muslims, because “we’re having problems with the Muslims, and we’re having problems with Muslims coming into the country.” J.A. 522. And on December 21, 2016, when asked whether recent attacks in Europe affected his proposed Muslim ban, President Elect Trump replied, “You know my plans. All along, I’ve proven to be right. 100% correct.” J.A. 506.
As a candidate, Trump also suggested that he would attempt to circumvent scrutiny of the Muslim ban by formulating it in terms of nationality, rather than religion. On July 17, 2016, in response to a tweet stating, “Calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. are offensive and unconstitutional,” Trump said, “So you call it territories. OK? We’re gonna do territories.” J.A. 798. One week later, Trump asserted that entry should be “immediately suspended[ed] . . . from any nation that has been compromised by terrorism.” J.A. 480. When asked whether this meant he was “roll[ing ]back” his call for a Muslim ban, he said his plan was an “expansion” and explained that “[p]eople were so upset when I used the word Muslim,” so he was instead “talking territory instead of Muslim.” J.A. 481.
Translation: in the eyes of the court, the wording of the order is overridden by comments Donald Trump made during the campaign – which, the court appears to be assuming, mean he doesn’t really mean what the executive order says.
Two major problems with this ruling:
-No matter what candidate Trump said or thought, the executive order signed by President Trump says what it says.
– And what it says is that, of the 57 Muslim countries in the world, restrictions would be imposed on just 7, all of which are hotbeds of terrorist activity: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
There are no restrictions at all on the other 50.
Of the 10 countries with the largest Muslim populations, it imposes restrictions on just one – Iran. None at all on the other 9.
Therefore, the argument that “EO-2’s primary purpose is religious” is ridiculous.
I assume this will now go to the Supreme Court.
I expect the Supreme Court will reverse this idiocy.
And I certainly hope that, with or without the temporary suspension in place, serious vetting procedures are being created, and will be implemented as quickly as possible.
The sooner the better.