Yesterday, the Supreme Court upheld President Trump’s Travel Restrictions in a 5-4 Ruling on Trump v. Hawaii.
At issue was the President’s authority to restrict travel from countries that are not compliant with U.S. vetting requirements. The countries currently targeted:
- North Korea
Chad was removed from the list after efforts by that country to improve its vetting and compliance practices.
The fact that this decision wasn’t 9-0 says something rather significant about the Left-leaning members of the Supreme Court.
The White House responded immediately:
Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a tremendous victory for the American People and the Constitution. The Supreme Court has upheld the clear authority of the President to defend the national security of the United States. In this era of worldwide terrorism and extremist movements bent on harming innocent civilians, we must properly vet those coming into our country.
This ruling is also a moment of profound vindication following months of hysterical commentary from the media and Democratic politicians who refuse to do what it takes to secure our border and our country. As long as I am President, I will defend the sovereignty, safety, and security of the American People, and fight for an immigration system that serves the national interests of the United States and its citizens. Our country will always be safe, secure, and protected on my watch.
It’s nice to see a President use the word “sovereignty” once again…
From the Ruling:
By its terms, §1182(f) exudes deference to the President in every clause. It entrusts to the President the decisions whether and when to suspend entry, whose entry to suspend, for how long, and on what conditions. It thus vests the President with “ample power” to impose entry restrictions in addition to those elsewhere enumerated in the INA. The Proclamation falls well with-in this comprehensive delegation. The sole prerequisite set forth in§1182(f) is that the President “find[ ]” that the entry of the covered aliens “would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.” The President has undoubtedly fulfilled that requirement here.
He first ordered DHS and other agencies to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of every single country’s compliance with the information and risk assessment baseline. He then issued a Proclamation with extensive findings about the deficiencies and their impact. Based on that review, he found that restricting entry of aliens who could not be vetted with adequate information was in the national interest.
Of material note within the Ruling was the Concurring Opinion (pages 47-56) by Justice Thomas who took issue with the recent practice of Universal or Nationwide Injunctions:
The District Court imposed an injunction that barred the Government from enforcing the President’s Proclamation against anyone, not just the plaintiffs. Injunctions that prohibit the Executive Branch from applying a law or policy against anyone – often called “universal” or “nationwide” injunctions – have become increasingly common.
District courts, including the one here, have begun imposing universal injunctions without considering their authority to grant such sweeping relief. These injunctions are beginning to take a toll on the federal court system – preventing legal questions from percolating through the federal courts, encouraging forum shopping, and making every case a national emergency for the courts and for the Executive Branch. I am skeptical that district courts have the authority to enter universal injunctions. These injunctions did not emerge until a century and a half after the founding. And they appear to be inconsistent with longstanding limits on equitable relief and the power of Article III courts.
Justice Thomas also provided a warning:
If their popularity continues, this Court must address their legality.
Justice Thomas then provided his reasoning (abbreviated):
If district courts have any authority to issue universal injunctions, that authority must come from a statute or the Constitution.
No statute expressly grants district courts the power to issue universal injunctions…In short, whether the authority comes from a statute or the Constitution, district courts’ authority to provide equitable relief is meaningfully constrained. This authority must comply with longstanding principles of equity that predate this country’s founding.
Universal injunctions do not seem to comply with those principles. These injunctions are a recent development, emerging for the first time in the 1960s and dramatically increasing in popularity only very recently. And they appear to conflict with several traditional rules of equity, as well as the original understanding of the judicial role.
No persuasive defense has yet been offered for the practice. Defenders of these injunctions contend that they ensure that individuals who did not challenge a law are treated the same as plaintiffs who did, and that universal injunctions give the judiciary a powerful tool to check the Executive Branch. But these arguments do not explain how these injunctions are consistent with the historical limits on equity and judicial power.
Justice Thomas closed with a simple promise:
In sum, universal injunctions are legally and historically dubious. If federal courts continue to issue them, this Court is duty bound to adjudicate their authority to do so.
I have never understood how a District Court could be allowed to usurp judicial power in such a manner – impairing the Executive Branch and affecting the entire nation.
I guess Justice Thomas has the same misgivings.
The upholding of the Travel Ban was great news. The judicial hip-check given to activist District Courts was even greater news.
Note: Returned and revived from a wonderful and long-planned family “event”, the frequency of posting should return to normal.
newer post (Still Not) Tired of Winning