12 June 2017

Of Lamps and Golden Doors

President Drumpf, you're descended from immigrants, and in particular on one side of the family from immigrants from a region that was historically hostile to the (then much-younger) United States at the time. It's bad enough that across the Pond, your allies in the ruling party are getting in bed with the Northern Ireland Unionist successors to Ian Paisley (a group that has committed more violent crimes and killed more Americans than have citizens of the Suspect Six Nations) after campaigning on a platform indicating that only they could fight terrorism. But:

Two United States Courts of Appeal have handed you — and your marginally competent and marginally ethical advisors, both attorneys and otherwise — your head on your "corrected" Executive Order, no thanks to Kathy Griffin. One court eviscerated your position primarily on constitutional grounds; the other, primarily on statutory authority and interpretation grounds. More to the point, the Fourth Circuit (the entire roll of active judges, in fact) rejected your unconstitutional animus, while the Ninth Circuit (a panel of three different judges than those who rejected your first Executive Order) engaged in a close reading of the relevant statute and rejected your sweeping policies as simultaneously unfounded in fact and unauthorized by statute (PDF). That is, the circuit ordinarily considered "most likely to be curmudgeonly, short-sightedly, and counterproductively anti-activist" reached to the Constitution, while the circuit ordinarily considered to be "most likely to be judicial activists" was restrained in its method… and both rejected you without giving you any unearned credit for having two intellectually honest brain cells to rub together. They weren't quite that vicious in their rhetoric — only in their fact-finding and reasoning.

The Ninth Circuit's opinion today is founded on exactly what a judicial opinion is supposed to be: A careful consideration of facts as they relate to the dispute in question, not to broad policy objectives. That's something that neither you nor your advisors did, since I don't think "policy" or "facts" were really at issue for you — only bigotry.

Two versions of a report from the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) surfaced after EO1 [the January Executive Order, previously enjoined] issued. First, a draft report from DHS, prepared about one month after EO1 issued and two weeks prior to EO2’s [the currently-at-issue Executive Order] issuance, concluded that citizenship “is unlikely to be a reliable indicator of potential terrorist activity” and that citizens of countries affected by EO1 are “[r]arely [i]mplicated in U.S.-[b]ased [t]errorism.” Specifically, the DHS report determined that since the spring of 2011, at least eighty-two individuals were inspired by a foreign terrorist group to carry out or attempt to carry out an attack in the United States. Slightly more than half were U.S. citizens born in the United States, and the remaining persons were from twenty-six different countries—with the most individuals originating from Pakistan, followed by Somalia, Bangladesh, Cuba, Ethiopia, Iraq, and Uzbekistan. Id. Of the six countries included in EO2, only Somalia was identified as being among the “top” countries-of-origin for the terrorists analyzed in the report. During the time period covered in the report, three offenders were from Somalia; one was from Iran, Sudan, and Yemen each; and none was from Syria or Libya. The final version of the report, issued five days prior to EO2, concluded “that most foreign-born, [U.S.]-based violent extremists likely radicalized several years after their entry to the United States, [thus] limiting the ability of screening and vetting officials to prevent their entry because of national security concerns” (emphasis added).

Hawaii v. Trump, No. [20]17–15589 (9th Cir. 12 Jun. 2017), slip op. at 10–11. That is, even your own hypersuspicious purported "experts" couldn't support the terms of the restrictions you would actually impose.

I'd suggest that you grow up, but telling a two year old who can't decide which temper tantrum to have next to "grow up" is both unrealistic and frankly counterproductive. And now that I think about it, that's insulting to the two-year-olds I raised — even at their worst they didn't act from the sense of entitlement you display every day.