On the surface it might appear that the Trump Administration has won an important victory in the Supreme Court which ruled just a few hours ago on the so-called “travel ban” Executive Order, but in my view the Court has created an enormous bureaucratic mess, not to mention having re-written Refugee law! What were they thinking???
I know, I know, they will decide the case on the merits after hearing it next fall (and this decision does show where they are leaning), but from now until then there will be nothing but chaos and controversy relating to travel from the 6 countries and regarding the refugee admissions CEILING. Remember readers, I am not a legal beagle, but the minute I heard some of the convoluted balancing of equities argument I thought my head would explode!
The gist of the decision is that Trump (the President) can halt immigration from the six (although incomplete list) of terror-producing countries unless the wannabe entrant (for any purpose) “can credibly claim a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”
So, I guess that means the court has decided in advance who the potential terrorists are and that they can’t possibly be someone who has a relative here already or is coming to college at the University of Hawaii (or any college) or connected to any “entity” (a VOLAG perhaps!).
Of greater interest to me is that, although Trump can have his refugee admissions ceiling of 50,000 (remember CEILING is not a target), but the ceiling can be surpassed (says the majority opinion) in the remaining months of this fiscal year (up to September 30th) if the wannabe refugees have relatives here (what if 10,000, 20,000 and so forth have relatives here!).
Can you see the potential for fraud as all over the world, migrants wishing to get to America are scrambling to have relatives or a bona fide entity with which to associate themselves.
So, in effect the Supreme Court (led by Chief Justice Roberts) has just rewritten the Refugee Act of 1980!
The Act allows the President to exceed his designated ceiling (and here they agree it is 50,000!) only by making a case for an emergency and consulting with Congress. Well, forget that! Looks like the Supreme Court is now determining the number of refugees to be admitted to America.
(I concede real lawyers might have a different interpretation, but reading the Court’s decision today one wonders if they read the Refugee Act!).
Here in the dissent written by Thomas, Alito and Gorsuch you can clearly see the bureaucratic and legal mess the Court has thrown to a State Department not firmly in the White House’s control, not to mention the parade of court cases the three dissenting Justices envision.
Here is the opinion. I invite you all to make up your own minds, send comments with your analysis.
Here is the portion of the dissent that says it all:
EDITORS NOTE: Here are two other comments on this SCOTUS decision:
Jay Sekulow, chief counsel American Center for Law and Justice:
“We’re very pleased with the court granting the stay concerning the most significant aspects of the president’s executive order on immigration. At the same time, we’re very pleased that the high court has agreed to hear the case in the fall. It has been our position from the very beginning that the president – the commander-in-chief – has both the constitutional and statutory authority to issue the order. President Trump acted lawfully and constitutionally with the intent to protect the national security of the United States. We are confident that the high court will conclude on the merits that the president was acting within his constitutional authority.”
Art Arthur, resident fellow Center for Immigration Studies:
“Justice Thomas, Justice Alito and Justice Gorsuch would simply allow the second executive order – the one from March – to go into effect today. The two other more moderate conservative Justices, Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy, are on the fence.”
“[Under this ruling, however] some individuals who would seek harm to the American people or our institutions may get in simply because they have relationships with individuals or entities within the United States. But the Supreme Court appears willing to take that risk at the present time.”