When it comes to President Trump’s attempt to restrict travel from nations with questionable vetting, it really is “deja vu all over again.”
That’s because today marks not the second but the third time a federal judge in Hawaii has ruled against the version of the “ban” at issue at the time. The newest version --- call it Travel Restrictions 3.0 --- was blocked by this same judge, Derrick Watson (the name should be familiar by now), just hours before it was to go into effect nationwide. If you recall, the Supreme Court allowed the second version to go into effect temporarily but in doing so kicked off a separate debate about which members of an extended family might be allowed in. Spouses, parents, children...aunts, uncles, third cousins twice-removed?
President Trump’s most recent modifications to the order had included the addition of Chad, North Korea (not a Muslim nation) and Venezuela (again, not Muslim), and the dropping --- not sure why --- of Sudan. The fact that his order wasn’t limited to Muslim-majority nations apparently doesn’t matter to this judge, who, when the ball is in his court, so to speak, can always find a way to rationalize blocking an absolutely constitutional exercise of Presidential power with which he disagrees. And now the case goes once again to...you guessed it, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. We just keep going round and round on this.
This time, as he did the last time, Judge Watson said the order “lacks sufficient findings that the entry of more than 150 million nationals from six specified countries would be ‘detrimental to the interests of the United States.’” Really? To borrow a phrase from the founding fathers, I “find these truths to be self-evident.” If even one of those potential 150 million travelers is a terrorist who sneaks through whatever laughable vetting process exists, then that is highly detrimental to the interests of the United States.