Donald Trump is facing the most difficult moment of his young presidency today with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling unanimously to prevent the implementation of his travel ban that critics call the Muslim ban. The Justice Department was not able to prove the harm that was caused by people from the seven countries that the Trump administration was targeting. It is not the end of the legal road for the executive order, but the strong decision could signal things to come.
Moreover, after days of attacks coming from the 45th U.S. president, it appears that the 9th Circuit Court wanted to reassert the judicial branch as a form of check and balance on the excesses of the executive. The judges stated: “The Government has not shown that the Executive Order provides what due process requires, such as notice and a hearing prior to restricting an individual’s ability to travel. Indeed, the Government does not contend that the Executive Order provides for such process.” The panel also added: “The Government has not demonstrated that the States lack viable claims based on the due process rights of persons who will suffer injuries to protected interests due to the Executive Order.” There was a Republican (George W. Bush) appointee on the panel, Richard Clifton, and he went along with his Democratic colleagues (Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama appointees) for a 3-0 ruling.
A Trump defeat on the matter was expected, but the court went further than what some experts had in mind. The controversial billionaire from New York with zero experience in politics is discovering in a big way that it is difficult to bring a dramatic change in this democracy.
There is also the fact that Mr. Trump loves to insert himself in the news cycle even when it is not needed. In this case, the president’s constant use of the phrase “Muslim ban” played against his interests. The decision reads: “Washington also alleged that the Executive Order was not truly meant to protect against terror attacks by foreign nationals but rather was intended to enact a “Muslim ban” as the President had stated during his presidential campaign that he would do.”
Trump has said that he is ready for the legal fight ahead.