A federal appeals court panel has maintained the freeze on President Trump’s controversial immigration order, meaning previously barred refugees and citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries can continue entering the United States.
In a unanimous, 29-page opinion, three judges with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit flatly rejected the government’s argument that the suspension of the order should be lifted immediately for national security reasons and forcefully asserted their ability to serve as a check on the president’s power, reports the Washington Post.
The opinion tells us much about the hubris and sheer incompetence of the new administration as the court rebuked it at every turn, pointing to errors in law and lawyering.
The administration made the argument that the case was not even reviewable, despite ample precedent from the George W. Bush years. In its most memorable line of the opinion, the judges held, “There is no precedent to support this claimed unreviewability, which runs contrary to the fundamental structure of our constitutional democracy.” The court pointed out that even in the immigration and national security realms the political branches are subject to judicial review.
This is a humiliating defeat for the White House, revealing just how amateurish the president and his advisers are. The frightful part is that if they cannot handle a simple executive order, what makes anyone think they can handle far more difficult challenges?