The travel ban issued by president Donald Trump has triggered a fierce and wide legal battle that has resulted in its temporary suspension by the act of federal judge James Robart. The case is promoted by State of Washington in defense of the rights of people from the seven countries that had been denied access to the US while the ban was in place.
The stay has been upheld by a ruling of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal which determined that Washington State has “standing” in the case and that the order had violated due process in reference to people who had been granted visas or Green Cards and has ties or interests in the USA.
It is clear that the travel ban was implemented poorly since it did not differentiate between green card holders and all other people wishing to enter in the USA. It did provide for the exclusion of some special types of visas but it created initial confusion about people who had passports from other countries in addition to the 7 listed in the ban.
The ruling of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal has been seen as a direct intrusion into the executive power of the president as granted in Code Title 8 – 1182:
For sure it has been surprising that a 15 minutes session by judge James Robart was able to halt the whole administration. And it was equally surprising that the Court of Appeal would grant standing of the State of Washington in representing the interest of third parties. In this case individual immigrants, universities, and corporation.
This has created a series of options the federal government can pursue and a totally new legal scenario in US law where a state can represent private parties against the central government.
The Trump administration is determined in re-enacting the ban and it has several options:
which it will announce after having reviewed them with the new Attorney General Jeff Sessions which has recently been appointed. For sure the defense provided to the federal government during the appeal hearing was far from adequate. This is a further evidence of the collision course between the new administration and the holdovers from the previous administration. Particularly in both the DOJ and the Department of State.
It is clearly becoming a full-fledged political battle involving an inordinate amount people throughout the country.
The Next Moves by the Trump Administration
The likely development is that new, more pointed and corrected executive orders will be issued on the matter. The opposition will try to demonstrate that it is a Muslim ban and therefore unconstitutional. The Court of Appeal didn’t dare comment on whether it is a Muslim ban or not. Washington AG will try to demonstrate that the president had the “intention” of banning Muslims even though the order doesn’t contain that language:
On the other side, the White House will continue to defend its prerogative of taking security measures.
For sure a huge legal battle is coming up and immigration law won’t ever be the same.