The Supremes Get Another One Right

Sort of.  Mostly.

A deeply divided Supreme Court upheld President Donald Trump’s latest ban on travel to the US by people from several Muslim-majority countries, in a ruling Tuesday that hands the White House a victory on one of its most central—and controversial—initiatives.

Small point, and it’s on The Wall Street Journal, not the Supreme Court: it’s not a ban on travel, it’s a moratorium.  The moratorium will be lifted on each of those countries when it becomes possible to accurately vet travelers from those countries.  A ban is broad and permanent.

A failure of the Court came from the liberal wing.  Justice Sonya Sotomayor wrote, for instance,

A reasonable observer would conclude that the [ban] was motivated by anti-Muslim animus….


The majority…turn[s] a blind eye to the pain and suffering the [ban] inflicts upon countless families and individuals, many of whom are United States citizens.

This is rank, deliberate emotionalism at the expense of rational thought and objective analysis.  Sotomayor chose not to demonstrate where the animus exists in the Executive Order, choosing instead to bring in outside material not part of the case or of the EO in question.  Campaign rhetoric, which she chose to consider instead of the text in the present case, ceased to have relevance to anything once the election was completed.  Even more, bringing in outside material, evaluating a case on things other than the text of the EO, the law, the Constitution is a violation of the Justices’ oath of office: they’re sworn to uphold the law, the Constitution (and EOs executed in accordance with the Constitution), not to uphold other things convenient to them.

Sotomayor also chose to ignore the “pain and suffering” unvetted entry of terrorists and violent criminals “inflict upon countless families and individuals, many of whom are United States citizens.”

The larger failure is that this should have been a unanimous decision.  The liberal wing of the Court, though, remained mired in their ideology that the text of an Executive Order (or of a law or of the Constitution) is not the only thing before them in any case: extraneous material convenient to their predetermined opinion also must be brought in for support.

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