Ninth Circuit upholds Washington judge’s ruling

Above, 9th DCA judges Richard Clifton, William Canby, Michelle Friedland.

The Ninth District Circuit Court of Appeals based in San Francisco has just affirmed the ruling of Judge James Robart in the state of Washington regarding President Trump’s immigrant/refugee travel stay. That means the Trump travel stay has been held as unconstitutional and overturned.

From the NYPost.com:

Federal appeals court rules against Trump’s travel ban

by Bob Fredericks and Daniel Halper

A federal appeals court on Thursday unanimously upheld a judge’s order that slammed the brakes on President Trump’s temporary refugee and immigration ban.

The stunning 3-0 ruling by the 9th Circuit court of Appeals in San Francisco means the travel ban — which caused chaos and massive protests at airports across the US— won’t take effect.

The president responded with a tweet, promising to challenge the ruling.

“SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!” Trump said.

The case will likely go all the way to the Supreme Court.

The three judges who heard the government’s appeal of the order were Democratic appointees William Canby and Michelle Friedland and GOP appointee Richard Clifton.

On one hand I am surprised it took the 9th quite some time to craft its opinion. On the other hand, the opinion is completely in keeping with the Leftist nature of the court itself.

As you recall, it was lower-court Judge James Robart in the state of Washington who temporarily halted the stay after stating that Washington and Minnesota were likely to win their case and had shown that the ban would restrict travel by their residents, damage their public universities and reduce their tax base.

The unanimous decision means that the case either goes to the Supreme Court or back to Robart’s court.

The full text of the Ninth Circuit’s decision can be found here.

Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice, a conservative Christian organization that filed an appeals court brief in support of Trump’s ban, said:

This decision is disappointing and clearly puts our nation in grave danger. The fact is that President Trump clearly has the constitutional and statutory authority to issue this order. It is clear: radical Islamic terrorists are at war with America. President Trump’s order is a proper and constitutional way to protect America.

Jessica Levinson, law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, said:

It’s really important that the opinion is unanimous because judges that were appointed by Democratic and Republican presidents came to the same legal conclusion. This is probably going to the Supreme Court, but I don’t think it’s going anywhere good for Donald Trump — even if the Supreme Court rules along party lines and is deadlocked, because the lower court’s decision would stand.

A portion of the Ninth’s opinion read:

To rule on the Government’s motion, we must consider several factors, including whether the Government has shown that it is likely to succeed on the merits of its appeal, the degree of hardship caused by a stay or its denial, and the public interest in granting or denying a stay.

We assess those factors in light of the limited evidence put forward by both parties at this very preliminary stage and are mindful that our analysis of the hardships and public interest in this case involves particularly sensitive and weighty concerns on both sides.

Nevertheless we hold that the Government has not shown a likelihood of success on the merits of its appeal, nor has it shown that failure to enter a stay would cause irreparable injury, and we therefore deny its emergency motion for a stay.

I submit that a great deal on insight can be gleaned by listening to the tone and tenor of the three Ninth Circuit judges as illustrated here, making one wonder: were the arguments of the government cogent or had they not considered their audience?

It is no surprise that Demorats and Leftists nation-wide are thrilled to no end by the decision and will use it as a rallying cry to continue to obstruct President Trump and his administration on every level.

Apparently 8 USC 1182 makes little difference to federal courts as I wrote in my post here.

Additionally, have courts forgotten about the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952?

Known as the McCarran-Walter Act, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 allows for the:

Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by the President, whenever the President finds that the entry of aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States. The President may, by proclamation, and for such a period as he shall deem necessary, may suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or non-immigrants or impose any restrictions on the entry of aliens he may deem to be appropriate.

Who last utilized this act? That would be Demorat President Jimmy Carter in 1979, 38 years ago, in order to specifically keep Iranians out of the United States. It would seem to me that application by Carter, according to the Ninth Circuit, focuses on a specific country and a specific religion. Not illegal then? Why not?

Carter did more. He made all Iranian students who were already in the United States, check in with the government. Seven thousand were found in violation of their visas, and a total of 15,000 Iranians were forced to leave the USA in 1979. Not illegal then? Why not?

I should care to point out that the McCarran-Walter Act also requires that an “applicant for immigration must be of good moral character and in agreement with the principles of our Constitution.”

Doing what I call the “logical extension,” would it not be reasonable to conclude that since the Koran forbids Muslims to swear allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, technically, all Muslims should be refused immigration to country? Just asking.

The argument provided by Judge Robart in his Washington opinion stated that refugees had essentially committed no acts of violence or terror in the US. Other than being a naked lie issued from an individual who is educated but apparently has learned little and lives in a bubble, I should also care to point out a sampling of such attacks in the US:

  • Somali refugee Abdul Razak Ali Artan went on a jihadi stabbing rampage at Ohio State.
  • In 2016, an Iraqi refugee Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan was accused of planning to bomb a local mall in Texas.
  • In September 2016, a Somali-Kenyan immigrant named Dahir Adan went on a stabbing spree at a mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
  • Somali refugee Mohamed Osman Mohamed was arrested for planning to blow up a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Oregon back in 2010.
  • In 2012, Abdullatif Ali Aldosary, an Iraqi refugee, bombed a Social Security Office in Arizona.
  • Two Iraqi refugees were convicted for having aided Al-Qaeda in Iraq in killing American servicemen. These so-called “refugees,” lied on their applications, and as proof that the screening process is ineffective, were allowed entry without issue.
  • Both Boston Bombers, the Tsarnaev Brothers, were asylum-seekers fleeing Russia and living in Kyrgyzstan before entering the United States.

Everyone also conveniently forgets — Demorats and the federal courts in particular, that following 9/11, Congress passed the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act, which addressed many of the insecurities in our visa tracking system. The bill passed the House and Senate unanimously. The bill was originally sponsored by a group of bipartisan senators, including Ted Kennedy and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. (F, 0%). Among other provisions, it restricted non-immigrant visas from countries designated as state sponsors of terror:

SEC. 306. RESTRICTION ON ISSUANCE OF VISAS TO NONIMMIGRANTS FROM COUNTRIES THAT ARE STATE SPONSORS OF INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM.

(a) IN GENERAL- No nonimmigrant visa under section 101(a)(15) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C.1101(a)(15)) shall be issued to any alien from a country that is a state sponsor of international terrorism unless the Secretary of State determines, in consultation with the Attorney General and the heads of other appropriate United States agencies, that such alien does not pose a threat to the safety or national security of the United States. In making a determination under this subsection, the Secretary of State shall apply standards developed by the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Attorney General and the heads of other appropriate United States agencies, that are applicable to the nationals of such states.

This once more profoundly illustrates the critical need to confirm the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch as a SCOTUS associate justice because, likely, this case and others will end there.

A final note: any 4-to-4 tie in the Supreme Court now does nothing more than uphold the decision of the applicable appeals court.

The US Constitution is not a proverbial suicide pact. We have the right to determine just who enters the country, as becoming a citizen is a privilege and not a right.

It is too early to fear. It is time, however, to continue to redouble our conservative efforts.

You can be assured the Demorats, Leftists and anarchists will.

BZ

 

Seattle judge halts Trump immigration stay

Just when you thought the US was beginning to turn and refrain from insisting upon self-implosion, in comes a federal judge to disabuse you of the notion.

From the WSJ.com:

Seattle Judge Used Broad Power to Halt Executive Order

by Ashby Jones and Jacob Gershman

Federal judges don’t often issue nationwide orders, but they have the power to do so

As a U.S. District Judge in Seattle, Judge James L. Robart typically handles federal cases affecting businesses and individuals in the western half of Washington state, an area roughly bordered by the Pacific Ocean in the west and the Cascade Range in the east.

But on Friday, Judge Robart expanded his reach, ordering a halt to President Donald Trump’s recent executive order on immigration and refugees. A federal appeals court early Sunday rejected a request from the Justice Department to immediately reinstate the order, asking for more court filings before it rules on the matter.

The district court ruling applies to the entire country. That makes it broader in scope than others that preceded in recent days. Orders issued in Brooklyn, Alexandria, Va., Boston and elsewhere were mostly “picking apart pieces of the executive order,” said Adam Winkler, a constitutional-law expert at the University of California, Los Angeles. Judge Robart’s order halts the Trump directive in its entirety.

Federal judges don’t often issue nationwide orders, but they have the power to do so, legal experts said.

A significant portion of the Bush-appointed federal judge’s ruling (Washington v. Trump, 2:17-cv-141) revolved around uniformity.

This emphasis on uniformity was key to Judge Robart’s order. He acknowledged the Trump Administration’s argument that any restraining order should be limited to the two plaintiff states — Washington and Minnesota. But Judge Robart rejected the request, concluding that a “partial implementation would undermine the constitutional imperative of a uniform Rule of Naturalization, and Congress’s instruction that the immigration laws of the United States should be enforced vigorously and uniformly.”

Lest we become unhinged like Leftists, let us also recall this.

Judge Robart borrowed language from Brownsville, Texas-based U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, who in 2015 issued a nationwide injunction blocking the implementation of Obama administration policies that granted some protection to children of illegal immigrants.

In another high-profile nationwide order, a federal judge in Los Angeles in 2010 issued a nationwide injunction against the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which banned openly gay men and women from serving in the military.

However, the opinion does tend to confirm what most of us already suspected: federal courts and judges damned near have absolute and imperial power. There is also another problem with “uniformity rulings.”

Nationwide injunctions have been criticized by legal scholars, who say they can encourage judge-shopping, and imbue a single litigant with outsize power.

“The idea is that you pick a judge who’s friendly, go to court, and stop a big government program before there’s been a trial, or before the judge even has an evidentiary record,” said Mr. Winkler.

Further:

Such orders can raise other complications, too. Other districts are free to make and implement their own nationwide orders, which might conflict with those already on the books.

Partly for that reason, nationwide orders are sometimes put on temporary hold by appeals courts, to stave off uncertainty that might otherwise ensue.

So what were the “interests” considered by Judge Robart in Washington? From ZeroHedge.com:

The DOJ appeal faces an uphill battle: “The Washington suit is so much more broad than anything else we’ve seen because it goes into the economic interests of the parties — that’s a very big development,” Hoffman said of a likely appeal by the federal government. “Appeals of temporary orders occur only in very, very extraordinary measures. I doubt it would be successful.” The reason why Robart was so quick with his decision is because he had the support of some of America’s largest tech companies.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said the effects on his state included economic consequences for employers based there, including Microsoft Corp., Starbucks Corp. and Amazon.com Inc. Bellevue, Washington-based Expedia Inc. had about 1,000 customers with flight reservations in or out of the U.S. from the seven countries, he said.  Meanwhile, DOJ lawyer Michelle Bennett, arguing at Friday’s hearing, said the president was acting within the authority granted him by Congress and there was no financial harm to the states. The judge disagreed.

Ponder that for a moment. The judge considered that, because tech companies cannot find a sufficient number of propeller-heads in the United States, they were potentially subject to harm. That is a portion of the basis for his ruling. Because adequate programmers can apparently only source from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya and, for fuck’s sake, Sudan and Somalia?

Doing the logical extension, Robart is intimating that because US universities do not produce a sufficient number of young, qualified technological candidates for today’s computer mechanics and applied science, to refuse Syrian refugees would somehow damage Washington employers? Really? What kind of serious training does it take to yield a barista who knows how to make a machine sound like it’s hocking a loogie into your paper drink cup?

A Boston federal court originally supported Trump but Robart’s decision, being most recent, applies in terms of chronological supremacy.

Map of federal district courts of appeal throughout the United States, by district number.

Here is what will occur: the case will wind itself into the Ninth District Court of Appeals in San Francisco, historically the most leftist federal appeals entity in the Milky Way, to include Andromeda and Orion as well. The 9th is also, historically, the most overturned — at various points up to 90%.

On Sunday, as expected, the Ninth DCA allowed a continuance of Trump’s travel stay suspension. From the WashingtonPost.com:

9th Circuit Court declines to quickly reinstate travel ban

by Matt Zapotosky and Robert Barnes

A federal appeals court on Sunday ruled that President Trump’s controversial immigration order will remain suspended for the time being, allowing those previously banned from coming to the United States at least another day to get here.

The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit preserves a lower judge’s order to temporarily halt the ban — and based on a schedule the court outlined, the stop will remain in place at least until sometime on Monday. The Justice Department said it would not elevate the dispute to the Supreme Court before that.

Pundits and scholars are united in opining: Sooner or later the issue will have to reach the US Supreme Court.

In the meantime, a number of the suits against the Trump stay have some serious legal problems themselves. From Breitbart.com:

Travesty of Legal Errors in Immigration EO Lawsuit

by Ken Klukowski

Washington and Minnesota’s lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s immigration executive order (EO) showcases a cavalcade of legal errors.

First, the lawsuit could have been dismissed by the district court (or the court of appeals) in whole or in part for lack of jurisdiction. Second, the district court did not give the required legal reasoning in its order to justify the TRO. Third, the court had no business enjoining the executive order nationwide, instead of just in the two states. But fourth, once the district court issued the TRO, the appeals court had no authority to touch any other aspect of this legal challenge until it reaches the next stage of litigation.

But the please note the following.

The Supreme Court has reiterated countless times that when a federal court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction in a lawsuit, the only power the court has is to explain why it cannot claim jurisdiction, then dismiss the case.

That’s what should have happened for many of the claims in this lawsuit, rather than taking the extreme step of issuing a TRO.

Which leads to another problem with the TRO: Rule 65(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires a court to “describe the injury” suffered by the plaintiff. Robart claimed that Washington and Minnesota had carried their burden of showing they had a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of their lawsuit, but never says which ones. The states obviously cannot succeed on a claim they have no standing to raise in the first place. Robart failed to provide the legal reasoning for his decision.

But having made those errors, there is nothing the Justice Department can do until the TRO is superseded by a preliminary injunction (PI). A TRO expires within 14 days of being issued, unless another event overtakes it first.

As indicated prior, there is a fundamental bottom line.

Given the liberal makeup of the Ninth Circuit, however, the Justice Department faces an uphill fight in San Francisco. More likely this issue is heading to the U.S. Supreme Court, meaning that President Trump’s EO—and immigration as a whole—could become a major topic of discussion in the confirmation process of the Supreme Court’s incoming ninth justice, Neil Gorsuch.

And therein lies the rub. You see now why holding SCOTUS is critical, absolutely critical for each side of the aisle?

President Trump, of course, does himself and his administration no favors when he fails to keep his mouth shut or his fingers off Twitter. He wrote in response to Robart’s decision in part (above): “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!”

Beyond unendearing yourself to your enemies, similar acts tend to make life more difficult than necessary. President Trump is already beginning to encounter the DC roadblocks that foundational documents term “checks and balances.”

That said, Judge James Robart may be educated but fails to grasp the immediacy and plain text of 8 USC 1182, as well as Fiallo v. Bell, 430 U.S. 787. He also takes not into consideration the actions of Mr Obama in 2011 and 2015, as well as the immigration drought between roughly 1921/1924 to 1965. On the other hand, truthfully, he is not obligated in any way to do so.

What’s occurring presently is legal blowback from any number of issues, to include the hasty and ill-considered implementation of the order, and the failure to consider the issue of green card visas.

I go back to the topic of SCOTUS and — now — the vastly greater importance of Judge Neil Gorsuch. You can be guaranteed, with no reservations, that Demorats will filibuster the nomination of Gorsuch.

Conversely, any Republican — repeat, ANY Republican — who fails to get his or her arse in line with the nuclear option must be dealt with harshly and without remorse. They must be excised like the worst offensive tick, parasite or invertebrate.

Here is why: with Gorsuch uninstalled or stalled, the Supreme Court remains impaneled at the eight count. It is easy to foresee a straight split on the issue — four pro and four con.

When that happens, the lower court ruling stands.

BZ

 

Let the SCOTUS brawl commence

On Tuesday, January 31st, President Trump revealed the person he will nominate to replace Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, who passed away February 13th of last year at a resort in Texas, age 79.

That person is 49-year-old Judge Neil Gorsuch from the 10th Circuit US Court of Appeals. He will be the youngest jurist on the SCOTUS bench if installed, next to 56-year-old Elena Kagan. That is a massive plus as Gorsuch could potentially serve for twenty or thirty years.

The event was a propitious ceremony enhanced by the presence of Justice Scalia’s widow, Maureen Scalia, Trump exhibited class and respect.

Gorsuch’s downfall in the eyes of Demorats and Leftists is that he views the Constitution and Bill of Rights as documents that mean what they say. Judge Gorsuch could be considered a “strict constructionist” as he does not attempt to read into these papers facts or statements that aren’t present. He believes in the rule of law and has crafted his decisions in terms of the law itself and not any changing set of policy preferences. The New York Times quantifies Gorsuch as “an echo of Scalia in philosophy and style.” I say: Gorsuch will be a dogged defender of the Constitution.

Truly, however, it doesn’t make much difference what the background of Gorsuch may be, as the Demorats have stated in no uncertain terms that they will block and obstruct any person that Trump nominates. Any person. From Politico.com:

Senate Dems will filibuster Trump’s Supreme Court nominee

by Burgess Everett

It will be only the second time in modern history that the Senate has mounted a filibuster against a nominee.

Senate Democrats are going to try to bring down President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick no matter who the president chooses to fill the current vacancy.

With Trump prepared to announce his nominee on Tuesday evening, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) said in an interview on Monday morning that he will filibuster any pick that is not Merrick Garland and that the vast majority of his caucus will oppose Trump’s nomination. That means Trump’s nominee will need 60 votes to be confirmed by the Senate.

“This is a stolen seat. This is the first time a Senate majority has stolen a seat,” Merkley said in an interview. “We will use every lever in our power to stop this.”

Butthurt when the GOP insisted that a lame-duck president in the form of Obama not be able to force his own nomination so close to the election of a new president, the Demorats have pulled out all their knives and guns, and are spoiling for a fight.

An interesting note was made by Senate Minority Leader Little Chuckie Schumer, providing insight into Demorat thinking:

“The burden is on Judge Neil Gorsuch to prove himself to be within the legal mainstream.”

“Legal mainstream”? In terms of the Demorats and Leftists the legal mainstream would include hot-and-cold running abortions on demand, a nation overfilled with Syrians and Muslims uninterested in assimilation, and turning the US into a carbon copy of the European Union. Not once have the Demorats mentioned that the rule of law is inviolate and that the Constitution and Bill of Rights must be interpreted as written.

It’s a move that will prompt a massive partisan battle over Trump’s nominee and could lead to an unraveling of the Senate rules if Merkley is able to get 41 Democrats to join him in a filibuster. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) also reminded her Twitter followers on Sunday night that Supreme Court nominees can still be blocked by the Senate minority, unlike all other executive and judicial nominees.

Any senator can object to swift approval of a nominee and require a supermajority. Asked directly whether he would do that, Merkley replied: “I will definitely object to a simple majority” vote.

The question: when and by whom will the so-called “nuclear option” be pulled?

Here’s one interesting point that very much needs to be considered by the Demorats:

Different lawmaker are sure to have different priorities, especially since a number of Democratic senators are facing re-election in 2018 in states that Trump won. And many  Democrats may ultimately stop short of declaring an all-out war on Trump’s Supreme Court pick, even if they express concern over his nomination and ultimately oppose it.

Translated: there are close to 200 seats up for re-election shortly, and Demorats have to ask themselves just how much they really want to be seen as obstructionists in the eyes of populist voters.

Plainly, here is the crux of the biscuit:

Part of what raises the stakes of the Supreme Court fight is the fact that under current Senate rules, Democrats have the ability to initiate a filibuster, which would require 60 votes to overcome. Since there are only 52 Senate Republicans, that could prevent confirmation absent Democratic defections. It is possible, however, that Senate Republicans could respond to that scenario by invoking the so-called nuclear option, which would allow the GOP to override any objections with 51 votes.

Tactics and politics.

As opposed to the time under George Bush when the GOP owned the Triumvirate of Power, that is to day, the White House, Senate and House of Representatives (Republicans controlled both houses of Congress for a total of four years, from 2003 to 2007) and quaked with fear over utilizing said power, it would appear to me that a Trump presidency certainly won’t be timid, docile or very conciliatory to the Demorats.

The Demorats are already boycotting hearings to vote on nominations for Trump cabinet members and are forcing delays on voting for Senator Jeff Sessions as Attorney General.

Tactics and politics. Many considerations to be made in terms of short game and long ball. If either side pops off big time over the very first SCOTUS nomination — and yes, there will be more, perhaps two to three more vacancies coming in the next four years, I believe — where does that leave you in the future?

Do Demorats make their stand here, at the very first SCOTUS nomination as a replacement for Scalia, or do they make it down the line when the next nomination will most certainly change the complexion of the Supreme Court?

Schumer predicts the GOP won’t have the 60 votes. McCain and Graham and other Republican squishes come into play. “Then they’ll have to make a choice. Change the rules. It’s going to be very hard for them to change the rules because there are a handful of Republicans who believe in the institution of the Senate and don’t change the rules.”

So will the GOP be its own worst enemy? Will they unify and coalesce? Remember, in terms of Merrick Garland — because facts are facts — the Garland nomination was in the middle of a presidential election year, not at the beginning of the term. The Senate had not confirmed a vacancy in the middle of a presidential election in 80 years.

Clinton had two SCOTUS nominees confirmed in the beginning of his first term without a GOP filibuster. Obama had likewise two SCOTUS nominees confirmed in the beginning of his first term without a GOP filibuster.

No matter, the fireworks, hate and discontent is underway.

The Demorats will filibuster.

But: will the GOP pull the Big Red Handle in response?

BZ

P.S.

Notice to the GOP, specifically John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK): you cross the aisle at your own peril. This is now open political blood sport. Get your asses in line. Now. Collins and Murkowski already voted against Davos as it appears they both received thousands of dollars from teachers’ unions.