WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump Tuesday slammed a federal appeals court ruling maintaining a freeze on his travel ban, while his administration asked the U.S. Supreme Court for more time to file briefs on its request that the high court reinstate the ban.
“Well, as predicted, the 9th Circuit did it again – Ruled against the TRAVEL BAN at such a dangerous time in the history of our country. S.C.,” Trump tweeted, apparently referring to the Supreme Court.
Later Tuesday, Acting Solicitor General Jeff Wall said in a letter to the high court that Monday’s ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco means the federal government should be allowed to file new Supreme Court briefs.
The letter asked that the administration be allowed to do so by Thursday. Wall also requested that the Supreme Court discuss at its June 22 private conference the administration’s request for two emergency applications to reinstate Trump’s revised travel ban targeting six majority-Muslim countries and restricting refugee entries.
Meanwhile, Trump plans to visit the Supreme Court for the first time Thursday, for the formal installation ceremony of his appointee, Justice Neil Gorsuch, the White House confirmed.
Unlike other courts that have ruled against the Trump travel ban, the 9th Circuit’s three-judge panel did not delve into whether the revised executive order that would impose the ban unconstitutionally discriminates against Muslims.
Instead, the judges – all appointees of former President Bill Clinton – said Trump overstepped the statutory authority granted him by Congress. “Immigration, even for the President, is not a one-person show,” the court said in its decision.
The court found the president had failed to demonstrate a significant national risk that would make the ban legal. Trump would have to demonstrate that the entry of those covered by the ban would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States,” the court said.
Wall said the administration should get the chance to write new Supreme Court briefs because the 9th Circuit ruling in favor of the state of Hawaii’s challenge to the travel ban was “the first addressing the executive order at issue to rest relief on statutory rather than constitutional grounds.”
With Justice Gorsuch now on the bench, the Supreme Court has five conservatives and four liberals, but Gorsuch has not indicated how he would rule on the travel ban.
Trump had issued his initial travel ban executive order a week into his presidency, unleashing chaos at airports, mass protests in the U.S. and worldwide, condemnation from a broad spectrum of international leaders — and unprecedented attacks by the president on the federal judiciary after judges ruled against the ban.
The revised ban, the White House has said, took into account judges’ cited reasons for putting it on hold, and predicted it would pass constitutional muster. The ban would block entries for 90 days from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.