One should first take a deep breath. Then one might shout out “WTF!” Then perhaps one can summon up the peace of mind to consider the US Supreme Court’s recent decision to take up the Trump Administration’s “temporary” Muslim travel ban.
Let us first dispense with the obvious. The travel ban itself is ludicrous. No one — including the Trump Administration itself — has offerd any plausible reason why such a temporary travel ban directed at citizens of certain countries would affect the security of the US in any way — other than negatively. It is simply the will of the executive. So be it. And the rest of us are stuck talking about why such a ridiculous piece of executive will should or should not be put into effect. This is absurd. In othe words, even if the US Supreme Court says that Trump can have his tavel ban, none of us should feel safer. That is not what this is about.
We might also dispense with a second obvious issue.Banning peoples from certain countries who are of a particular religious group is disriminatory on its face. That is obvious. Every court that has addressed this issue has said as much. Now the US Supreme Court says “maybe not”. WTF?
So why has the US Supreme Court decided to allow the Trump Administration to go ahead with a watered down version of tis temporary travel ban while the Court takes up this case? The obvious answer is that the Court is pandering to the executive. The Court doesn’t want to assert that law in the abstract should defeat the will of the executive, even if that will is ludicrous and discriminatory. The Court wants to give the executive time to think it over. The Court hopes that perhaps cooler heads will prevail.
Is there anything to think over? I think not.
And what are the practical effects of this decision? As Issie Lapowsky points out, the Supreme Court has only allowed the ban to cover persons from the listed countries who have no credible evidence of a bona Fide relationship with a person or entity in the US. In other words, this is now a refugee ban. Why allow that? The Court seems to be signalling that in that area, the president’s powers to retrict entry into the US are not limited.