If the original 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on President Trump’s travel ban was outrageously political, the ruling of Hawaiian Federal Judge Derrick Watson that froze Trump’s revised order is legally indefensible. It’s not surprising, mind you, but it is nonetheless one of the clearest signs yet that the left is using the court system as a tool of the “resistance.” Watson didn’t wear a pink hat with cat ears to work on Wednesday, but he may as well have.
Despite what the left believes, American judges are not authorized to write law from the bench. And while it is their job to review orders made by the president and other elected officials when those orders are challenged, they are responsible for keeping those reviews in line with the law and – ultimately – the U.S. Constitution.
That’s not what happened on Wednesday.
Instead, Judge Watson decided to review Trump’s executive order through the lens of an MSNBC pundit, more or less. He doesn’t like the idea of a Muslim ban…Trump once called for a Muslim ban…this order would affect a lot of Muslims from the six countries on the list…therefore, he decided to block the ruling. There’s nothing in the ruling about the national security authority of the president; this is a ruling against religious discrimination and it has nothing to do with the text of the executive order.
After Trump’s first travel ban was struck down by the courts, a few naively optimistic conservatives thought the problem was not the order’s broad intention but rather the specific way the administration rolled it out. Had Trump done this or that, he would have been just fine. And the Trump administration appeared to hang their hopes on that optimism, withdrawing the original order and replacing it with what Trump himself called “a watered-down version,” bringing it in line with the criticism made by the 9th Circuit Court.
And – surprise! – it didn’t matter at all. It didn’t matter because these rulings have nothing to do with the text of the order and nothing to do with the law. These are liberal activists masquerading as lawyers and judges, and they are as much a part of the anti-Trump movement as any Democrat in the Senate leadership.
Religious adherents of all types will be affected by this (temporary) ban. Muslims from all over the world will be completely unaffected. The order certainly does not establish a state religion for the U.S., and the new version makes no distinction between Christian and Muslim refugees. Therefore, it makes no legal or logical sense to freeze the order due to concerns about religious discrimination. In fact, it’s preposterous.