Trump Won’t Appeal Court’s Travel Ban Rejection to Supreme Court — For Now
The White House said on Friday it would not immediately appeal a federal appeals court ruling blocking President Donald Trump’s executive order banning citizens of seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the United States.
The Washington Post reports the president is considering rewriting the highly controversial executive order after a three-judge panel on the San Francisco-based 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected what critics called an unconstitutional “Muslim ban.” The court found “no evidence that any alien from any of the countries named in the order has perpetrated a terrorist attack in the United States.”
“SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!” Trump tweeted following the court’s decision. The president, who campaigned on promises to ban all Muslim entry to the United States, told reporters aboard Air Force One he would wait until early next week before taking any action, while White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus caused considerable confusion by saying several options, including an appeal to the Supreme Court, were “on the table.”
“We will win that battle,” Trump said on Air Force One on Friday evening, CNN reports. “The unfortunate part is that it takes time statutorily, but we will win that battle. We also have a lot of other options, including just filing a brand new order.”
However, everyone from Democratic elected officials to human rights advocates to tech industry executives — but especially the refugees, immigrants and travelers affected by the ban — celebrated Thursday’s ruling as a major victory in the fight against xenophobia and Islamophobia that have characterized many of Trump’s policies and actions. “Freedom! Freedom! I love America,” an exhausted Iraqi refugee told ITV.
“Trump does not trump the Constitution. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land,” Nabih Ayad, founder of the Arab-American Civil Rights League in Dearborn, Michigan, told the Detroit Free Press. “The 9th Circuit Court has shown our system does work, that we’re the greatest nation in the world… The judiciary does work, and works in the most challenging times. We’re grateful of the wisdom of the 3-judge panel to uphold the Constitution.”
“I just saw a tweet from the president,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting. “He said ‘see you in court.’ Well, Mr. President, we just saw you in court and we beat you. And you ought to think about this because these courts have said this is unconstitutional and it will not stand and we’re hopeful that that happens and if it doesn’t, Washington state is going to continue this fight.”
The appeals court ruling will mean an end, for now at least, to horror stories of Muslim travelers, including legal permanent US residents, refugees approved for resettlement in the country, residents of European Union nations and Canada, and even children requiring life-saving surgery being turned away from the US or being detained and deported upon arrival here.
Trump’s defeated executive order cited “the 19 foreign nationals who went on to murder nearly 3,000 Americans” on September 11, 2001 as justification for the entry ban. However, 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, two were citizens of the United Arab Emirates and the remaining two were Egyptian and Lebanese. None of those countries — in which Trump has considerable business interests — were included in the ban. There have been no fatal terrorist attacks in the United States by immigrants from the seven banned nations. The United States is currently bombing or has recently bombed six of the seven nations on the banned list and has bombed all of them within the past 20 years.
Meanwhile, Americans statistically have a higher chance of being killed by lightning, falling furniture, armed toddlers or right-wing extremists than by an Islamist terrorist, even as President Trump is reportedly seeking to rename the government’s “Countering Violent Extremism” (CVE) program to “Countering Islamic Extremism” and re-focus the program solely on what the president calls “radical Islamic terrorism.”
Undaunted, Trump refused to concede defeat on the issue. “We are going to do whatever is necessary to keep our country safe,” he said during a Friday news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. “We’ll be doing something very rapidly having to do with additional security for our country. You’ll be seeing that sometime next week.”