If the partisanship that has been so evident in the political arena over the last year or so holds up, then the appellate judges in U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th District should rule against President Trump’s executive order blocking the entry of refugees and people from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
Such reckoning is based on the fact that Judge Michelle Friedland was appointed by President Obama; Judge Richard Clifton was appointed by George W. Bush; and Judge William Canby Jr. was appointed by Jimmy Carter. It’s a case of two against one if they follow the party line, though that may not be the end to Federal Judge James Robart’s ruling, which for the moment has allowed barred travelers and immigrants to enter the country.
Given such a decision in favor of Robart, we can expect that the Justice Department, represented by attorney August Flentje, will take the issue to the Supreme Court. But, here again, we are met with a boondoggle because there are eight justices that could end the dispute in a tie, which would allow the lower court ruling to stand.
As we go to press, the case remains undecided, thereby leaving a number of immigrants in limbo while others are rushing to take advantage of Robart’s ruling.
Meanwhile, Trump has lashed out against Robart. “Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril,” he said in a tweet to his nearly 24 million followers. “If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!”
One of the unintended consequences of all of this is the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. Trump’s railing against a judge could create an atmosphere of uncertainty for tenured judges who should be immune from personal attacks from the president and other government officials. Obviously, none of this registers with the reckless disregard of our president.
All of this stems from Trump’s executive order he authored after only a week in office, setting off a firestorm of protests across the nation and totally upending immigration policy. Robart heeded the suit filed by Attorney General Bob Ferguson of Washington, and it has prompted other attorneys general to file complaints against the Trump administration.
There appears to be no end to the consternation exuding from Trump and his administrative stooges.