Trump Administration Wins a Small Victory Over Ninth Circuit

Credit: Brandon Bourdages at Shutterstock.
Credit: Brandon Bourdages at Shutterstock.

Last Thursday, the embattled travel ban executive order took another hit in the Ninth Circuit. That august judicial body ruled that the administration basically could not prevent any blood/marriage relative of any US citizen or resident alien from entering the United States and it said that refugees sponsored by a refugee agency could not be barred from entry.


This last finding ran in direct contradiction to the ruling by the Supreme Court which held that refugees without a direct familial connection to the United States could be barred. This lawlessness is sort of baked in when considering any Ninth Circuit ruling.

The Trump administration decided to forgo an appeal on the grounds of family relationship as the case is headed back to the Supreme Court, anyway. But it did appeal the injunction that allowed random refugees to enter the country.

But in his request to the Supreme Court, Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall said that part of the ruling is “less stark” than the nullification of the order’s refugee provision.

“Unlike students who have been admitted to study at an American university, workers who have accepted jobs at an American company, and lecturers who come to speak to an American audience, refugees do not have any freestanding connection to resettlement agencies, separate and apart from the refugee-admissions process itself, by virtue of the agencies’ assurance agreement with the government,” Wall wrote.

“Nor can the exclusion of an assured refugee plausibly be thought to ‘burden’ a resettlement agency in the relevant sense.”

Wall argued that allowing the 9th Circuit’s ruling to go forward would force the government to “change course” on orders it began implementing on June 29 and invite “precisely the type of uncertainty and confusion that the government has worked diligently to avoid.”


Today Justice Anthony Kennedy intervened on behalf of the government:

U.S. officials can at least temporarily continue to block refugees with formal assurances from resettlement agencies from entering the United States after the Supreme Court intervened again Monday to save a piece of President Trump’s travel ban.

Responding to an emergency request from the Justice Department, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy stopped an earlier federal appeals court ruling that had allowed refugees with a formal assurance to enter the country.

Kennedy, who handles cases on an emergency basis from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, ordered those suing over the ban to respond by noon Tuesday, and he indicated that the appeals court ruling in their favor would be stayed “pending receipt” of their response.

I think that given the specific ruling of the Supreme Court on the refugee issue, that the odds are greatly in favor of the government prevailing on this. And they should. But this is Anthony Kennedy, the man who single-handedly threw some 5,000 years of human history into the crapper and topped it off with a three-flush curry in his decision to normalize homosexual “marriage.” So who knows what will happen.



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