Over the past week, President Trump’s travel ban was blocked by a federal court in Hawaii. It was also struck down by a federal court in Maryland around the same time. The travel ban was designed by the Trump administration to stop people from Libya, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen from entering the United States for 90 days, as well as stop the influx of refugees for 120 days. The ban was struck down on the basis that it was unconstitutional. The responses to this made by President Trump bring up many questions about his relationship to the Judicial System in the United States. This post will examine this relationship as well as address how it could affect law and the political order.
President Trump responded to the block by stating that the travel ban is “unprecedented judicial overreach.” This statement must be examined. It is within the rights of the Judicial System to check the Executive Branch on the constitutionality of its decisions. He is incorrect in his statement that what occurred was “unprecedented” because it simply was not. Even if the circumstances regarding the ban were unique, it does not take away from the fact that the Judicial System was acting within its rights. The Hawaiian attorney general, Doug Chin, was quoted agreeing with the decision on the basis that what is going on “behind the curtain” is reason to strike down the ban. This means that Trump’s racist remarks in the past and general dislike for Muslims have had an effect in the decision.
President Trump’s reaction towards the ban makes me question his relationship with the legal system. It seems as if he has an “us and them” mentality. This is something that should not occur with a President. He should not be creating a divide among the various branches of the federal government but rather strengthening the bonds between them. It is also rather disturbing how he sees the decision of the Hawaiian court as “unprecedented” when it is not. It reflects his understanding of the Judicial System and his inability to understand the validity of the decision.
How will this effect law and the political order in the United States? A divide between the Executive and Judicial Branches can be dangerous. A President who does not understand the abilities of the court is also dangerous. However, this also brings in the question of the intentions of the judges blocking the ban. Are they simply making a political statement? That was one of the concerns of President Trump, that the judges were simply ruling in this way to make a point of stopping one of his actions. If this is the case, then the judge is not doing his job correctly. There are many questions brought up by this decision and by President Trump’s reaction. Time will tell the effects.