If the president had legitimate reasons for ban, ulterior motives don’t matter

Judges shouldn’t try to be mind readers.

One of the arguments used by Washington state attorneys to convince a Seattle federal judge to issue a temporary restraining order blocking Trump’s ban on travel from certain countries was that the order discriminated against certain religions, and this was proven by statements he made during the campaign.

Robert and Trump (ABC)

Robert and Trump (ABC)

As Bryon York points out, Washington state attorneys argued “Trump’s order violates the First Amendment because it is ‘intended to disfavor Islam and favor Christianity,’ and violates the Fifth Amendment because it is ‘motivated by animus and a desire to harm a particular group …'”

The argument appears to be that he has ulterior motives. It makes no difference whether he has ulterior motives, if his stated rationale is legitimate under the law. Trump said his reason was to protect the country from potential terrorists, because these visitors, immigrants and refugees have not and probably cannot be vetted properly.

The judge may have had ulterior motives of his own and placed his own assessment of the facts above those of the president.

Judge James Robart asked an attorney defending the Trump ban: “How many arrests have there been of foreign nationals for those seven countries since 9/11?”

The attorney did not know.

“Let me tell you,” replied Robart. “The answer to that is none, as best I can tell. So, I mean, you’re here arguing on behalf of someone that says: We have to protect the United States from these individuals coming from these countries, and there’s no support for that.”

To which York replies, “Perhaps Robart has been briefed by the intelligence community on conditions in Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and the rest. Perhaps Robart has received the President’s Daily Brief. Perhaps not. In any event, the Justice Department argued — reasonably but not successfully — that it is the president, and not a U.S. District Court judge in the Western District of Washington State, who has the knowledge and the authority to make such decisions.”

Though the law prohibits “discrimination in the issuance of immigrant visas on the basis of race, nationality, place of birth, or place of residence,” not all of those coming to this country are immigrants. Many are coming to visit or work.


York also quoted the fed attorney as saying, “Washington State’s interpretation … would lead to the untenable result that the United States could not suspend entry of nationals of a country with which the United States is at war, which would raise a serious constitutional question about Congress’s ability to restrict the President’s Article II authority to ensure the nation’s security.”

The judge’s ruling that residents of Washington and the state itself would suffer irreparable harm if the foreign citizen entry ban were not lifted was vague to point of base speculation. It could as easily have been argued that the citizens and state would benefit by not being burdened with additional mouths to feed.

Just why does a Seattle judge’s order blocking the ban carry more weight than that of a Boston judge who upheld the ban?

York concludes the law appears to be on Trump’s side but that does not mean the courts will abide by the law.


12 comments on “If the president had legitimate reasons for ban, ulterior motives don’t matter

  1. Rincon says:

    “Though the law prohibits “discrimination in the issuance of immigrant visas on the basis of race, nationality, place of birth, or place of residence,” not all of those coming to this country are immigrants. Many are coming to visit or work.”

    I don’t know what else to call it. Trump is forbidding certain people to immigrate explicitly due to their nationality. Your only argument seems to be that technically, the law only forbids Trump’s action for immigrants, not for short term visitors.

    Assessing evidence regarding motivation is in the job description for a judge. It’s unreasonable to forbid a judge to assess motivation if the evidence is clear and in the case of Donald Trump, the evidence is abundantly clear. I also wonder why Trump neglected to put Saudi Arabia on the list. We’ve had lots of their terrorists operate here.

    That being said, I have to question the law in the first place. Is there any good reason why we shouldn’t be allowed to favor immigrants from one country over those of another? They should not have the same rights as citizens until they become citizens..

  2. Athos says:

    Hey Rinny,

    President Donald Trump!

    Doesn’t that just fill your heart with joy and gratitude?

  3. Athos says:

    Oh, and by the way, Rinny, where was all your concern when the last President (The Nobel Peace Prize winner) did the same thing, only for 6 months?

  4. Athos says:

    (not 4 months)

  5. The Temporary Restraining Order by this tin horn federal judge for western Washington is long on politics…and extremely short on solid law. It’s the left throwing sand into the gears of a new President trying to govern as he promised. This frivolous order should be thrown out with the morning’s chamber pot contents.

    “The controlling provision of federal immigration law, Section 1182(f), could scarcely be clearer: Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. Trump’s executive order explicitly relies on this statute and tracks its language. The statute does not invite judicial second-guessing of his judgment. The claim that the executive order imposes an unconstitutional “Muslim ban” is specious.”

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/444657/judge-james-robart-donald-trump-executive-order-muslim-majority-nations-national-security

  6. deleted says:

    As to whether it is appropriate for the court to examine the presidents motives for his actions, and contrary to what Thomas said, both the Ninth Circuit, and the US Supreme Court have said, it is appropriate.

    Click to access 13-35957.pdf


    In Din, Justice Kennedy’s controlling opinion states that the court should look behind the stated motives for the action when plausible evidence has been produced showing that it was a lie.

    Obviously, and mostly because Don is a very determined liar, the twitter evidence of Dons true motive is overwhelming.

  7. deleted says:

    This is why I love politics.

    I can just see republicans right now doing their analysis. Do they use what seems an obvious way to get rid of a guy none of the establishment wanted anyway? I mean, that leaves them with Pence, a guy they know and is one of them. Of course, even a move in that direction is going to bring the house down, maybe literally, because Trump is the guy who beat the pants off their establishment and his supporters would go nuts (even more so than they are) if attempts to oust Don were made “merely” because he and his henchmen violated some law they don’t get anyway.

    And for Democrats it poses lots of issues too like is Don the lesser of two evils or not?

    3 weeks in and…”we’ll see”, eh Vernon?

  8. Steve says:

    Just gonna remind Patrick, Barack Obama told us to “not underestimate the guy”

    Remember? It was only three weeks ago.

    There is more here than meets the eye.

    BTW, VOX likes the front runner for Flynn’s replacement…..more than meets the eye.

  9. Athos says:

    The Logan act of 1799? The loony left has gone full-blown delusional and have lost their collective minds.
    You’re a fitting tribute to their little band of miscreants Patrick. You’re surely in the right political party!

  10. deleted says:

    Athols of the right unite!

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