Trump’s Relationship with the Judicial System

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.

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2 Responses to Trump’s Relationship with the Judicial System

  1. azwoodland says:

    I don’t know about you, but when I heard the travel ban was struck down by a federal judge, my mind immediately went to religious reasons. Like you, I was appalled by the initial and subsequent travel ban on the basis that they were, at their core, measures to limit Muslims from entering our country. Yet, when I play Devil’s Advocate, I can see the administration’s point for two reasons:

    1.) I believe that if you’re a president who has irrefutable evidence that immigrants from these six countries pose a threat to national security, then a travel ban may be the only means you have to reduce the risk.
    2.) The president has substantial power when it comes to this matter. Article II of the Constitution allows the president to conduct foreign affairs and address immigration. Because of the explicitness of the president’s duties regarding national security, it may seem like they are the ultimate authority on immigration.

    But, both of these points have been refuted, now three times, by the federal judiciary. First off, there is not evidence of a credible risk to the nation’s security. Second, all actions of the federal government are subject to judicial review. If we only look at history, as you point out, there is a precedent for a federal court to strike down an executive order.

    It seems that Trump administration could have a lawful executive order, had there been a need for one. But, until they can produce evidence of public harm, I wholeheartedly believe the judiciary will continue to block any Travel Ban issued by President Trump.

  2. judgemebymybanz says:

    I thought this was a really fair analysis of the situation, so kudos to you. I think something about Trump’s presidency that has been extremely concerning is his “us versus them” mentality in regards to pretty much every situation. Anytime someone speaks out in a way that is contrary to what he believes, he brands them an enemy. This is the case even if they’re supposedly on the same “side.” This kind of behavior is obviously not ideal for any person, but especially the president.

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