CNN on upholding of travel ban: “Roberts treats Trump like a normal President. Sotomayor says no way.”

The main problem with this is that Trump is a normal President. He is the only President we have, and U.S. law grants the President broad authority to ban groups of people from the country, as Roberts notes. The law makes no exception for Presidents who say things about immigration that Supreme Court justices or others dislike.

Sotomayor, meanwhile, presents Trump’s statements in a vacuum. As far as she is concerned, they are ipso facto evidence of prejudice and bigotry. Because she is a Leftist, she probably believes that jihad terror has nothing to do with Islam, and so she cannot or will not consider these statements in light of the reality of the Islamic State’s repeated vows to commit mass murder of American civilians, and similar vows from other Islamic jihad groups. Yet it is jihad terror that sets the question of the travel ban apart from earlier mistreatment of minorities. Given the fact that it is impossible to distinguish jihadis from peaceful Muslims, we have two choices: let in some harmful people, or keep out some harmless ones. For decades, we have been told that we must let in some harmful people, because to do otherwise would be racist, bigoted, and “Islamophobic.”

Now President Trump has opted for the other option, in order to protect the American people. For that, he deserves applause, not opprobrium.

“Roberts treats Trump like a normal President. Sotomayor says no way.” By Joan Biskupic, CNN, June 27, 2018:

As the 5-4 conservative majority of the Supreme Court upheld Trump’s travel ban on nationals from certain majority-Muslim countries, the nine justices implicitly revealed for the first time how they regard a commander in chief who repeatedly insulted Muslims and more broadly has mocked the rule of law and constitutional norms.

At bottom, five conservative justices signaled that even though they might not like what Trump has said, they will look past it — in Tuesday’s case and possibly in future disputes over administration actions related to immigration.

“This is an act that could have been taken by any other president,” Roberts said from the center chair of the bench on Tuesday.

Roberts wanted to make clear that the majority was not ignoring Trump’s anti-Muslim remarks, but concluded that they lacked legal significance. Sotomayor, joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, acknowledged that Roberts’ opinion recounted some of Trump’s inflammatory statements. But, she declared, that “does not tell even half of the story.”

One of the most dramatic moments in the courtroom came as Sotomayor paused after reading aloud a litany of Trump remarks, including “Islam hates us” and “we’re having trouble with Muslims coming into the country,” [sic]

“Take a brief moment,” she said, “and let the gravity of those statements sink in.” She said such hostility was not expressed by just anyone; it was the man who is now President.

“Our Constitution demands, and our country deserves,” Sotomayor said in her written opinion, “a judiciary willing to hold the coordinate branches to account when they defy our most sacred legal commitments.”

Her message: Trump is so unconventional he cannot be treated conventionally….

“Supreme Court upholds Trump travel ban,” by Robert Barnes and Ann E. Marimow, Washington Post, June 26, 2018:

The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that President Trump has the authority to ban travelers from certain majority-Muslim countries if he thinks it is necessary to protect the United States, a victory in what has been a priority since Trump’s first weeks in office and a major affirmation of presidential power.

The vote was 5 to 4, with conservatives in the majority and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. finding that a string of unprecedented comments and warnings from Trump about Muslims did not erode the president’s vast powers to control entry into this country….

Later, the White House issued a formal response that also took a swipe at Trump’s declared enemies. It called the ruling a “vindication following months of hysterical commentary from the media and Democratic politicians who refuse to do what it takes to secure our border and our country.”

Lower courts had struck down each of the three iterations of the president’s travel ban, the first of which was issued in January 2017. But the administration said it fortified the order in response to each judicial setback, and it had reason to be optimistic about the Supreme Court, since the justices previously decided to let the ban go into effect while considering the challenges to it….

The current ban, issued last fall, barred various travelers from eight countries, six of them with Muslim majorities. They are Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Chad, Somalia, North Korea and Venezuela. Restrictions on North Korea and Venezuela were not part of the challenge. Chad was later removed from the list.

Roberts tried to play down the political aspects of the case, writing that the proclamation that led to the ban “is squarely within the scope of Presidential authority” and noting that its text does not mention religion.

His opinion gave a short history of Trump’s comments about Muslims, starting with a campaign pledge for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” The pledge remained on the campaign website after Trump became president.

And other tweets and statements followed.

“But the issue before us is not whether to denounce the statements,” Roberts wrote. “It is instead the significance of those statements in reviewing a Presidential directive, neutral on its face, addressing a matter within the core of executive responsibility. In doing so, we must consider not only the statements of a particular President, but also the authority of the Presidency itself.”

He added: “We express no view on the soundness of the policy.”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote a stinging rebuttal, joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. And she read part of it in a dramatic moment on the bench.

Sotomayor noted the campaign statements and anti-Muslim videos and comments the president shared on Twitter, including one titled “Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary!”

“Take a brief moment and let the gravity of those statements sink in,” she said.

“And then remember,” Sotomayor added, that the statements and tweets were spoken or written “by the current president of the United States.”

Sotomayor repeatedly called out Trump by name in her lengthy statement and said the majority’s decision “repeats tragic mistakes of the past” and “tells members of minority religions” in the United States that “they are outsiders.”

The court, she wrote, was “blindly accepting the Government’s misguided invitation to sanction a discriminatory policy.”

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