I finally had time this evening to read the Ninth Circuit’s decision rendered yesterday in Washington v. Trump. The decision denied the Trump regime’s request for a stay of the district court’s order barring enforcement of the Muslim travel ban (Executive Order 13769). What grabbed my attention (and prompted the headline above) is this passage, beginning on page 13, describing the regime’s argument that its actions are beyond judicial review:
The Government contends that the district court lacked authority to enjoin enforcement of the Executive Order because the President has “unreviewable authority to suspend the admission of any class of aliens.” The Government does not merely argue that courts owe substantial deference to the immigration and national security policy determinations of the political branches—an uncontroversial principle that is well-grounded in our jurisprudence.... Instead, the Government has taken the position that the President’s decisions about immigration policy, particularly when motivated by national security concerns, are unreviewable, even if those actions potentially contravene constitutional rights and protections. The Government indeed asserts that it violates separation of powers for the judiciary to entertain a constitutional challenge to executive actions such as this one.
There is no precedent to support this claimed unreviewability, which runs contrary to the fundamental structure of our constitutional democracy.
Let that sink in for a moment. The Trump regime’s lawyers argued that Trump has “unreviewable” power to do anything he wants in the area of immigration policy, and that the courts are powerless to decide whether his actions comply with the U.S. Constitution. As the Ninth Circuit said, “There is no precedent” to support this claim, “which runs contrary to the fundamental structure of our constitutional democracy.”
Short version: This isn’t just about immigrants from predominately Muslim countries. It’s about a president pushing to become a dictator, above the law, immune from judicial review.