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Supreme Court could announce fate of Trump ‘travel ban’ and refugee ceiling reduction at any time

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 24, 2017

According to AP at ABC News, here, they have likely already decided and an announcement will come next week.


Which way will they go?


There are two major issues at stake (maybe more than two, but two for me!).  The first is whether the President has the authority to ban, for a limited time, all entry to the US from six (mostly Muslim countries that are hotbeds of terrorism) in order to keep us safe while they review the entry screening process.  Again, this involves all those of all religions and ethnic groups entering the US through any means from those six countries.

The second issue, and the one more interesting to me, is the one addressed by the Hawaii court (9th Circuit), but NOT by the Maryland court (4th Circuit), and that is whether the President has the legal right to come in at any number below the refugee admissions CEILING set last fall (in this case set by Obama), or more specifically has a legal right to announce a mid-year lowering of the admission ceiling for all refugees, of all religions, from all countries! And, does he have the legal authority to put in place a 120-day moratorium (again all countries, all religions) while the federal government reviews the screening process for refugees.

Presidents always come in under the CEILING, some by very significant numbers, and no one has legally challenged previous presidents on that issue.  There may have been some squawking by federal refugee contractors***, who receive a large portion of their budget based on a per head payment, when Bush came in way low in the wake of 9/11, but I don’t think he was taken to court over it.

See what I said here about how Obama failed to reach some of his ceilings:

In FY2011, they were 23,576 below the CEILING. Did anyone sue President Obama?

In FY2012, they were 17,762 below the CEILING. Did anyone sue President Obama for leaving thousands “stranded in war-torn countries”?

I have my fingers crossed that Justice Department lawyers knew enough to separate the two issues (the overall travel ban from the CEILING issue) which should never have been addressed in the same Executive Order in the first place.

Here is what ABC is reporting:

The Supreme Court has almost certainly decided what to do about President Donald Trump’s travel ban affecting citizens of six mostly Muslim countries.

The country is waiting for the court to make its decision public about the biggest legal controversy in the first five months of Trump’s presidency. The issue has been tied up in the courts since Trump’s original order in January sparked widespread protests just days after he took office.

The justices met Thursday morning for their last regularly scheduled private conference in June and probably took a vote about whether to let the Trump administration immediately enforce the ban and hear the administration’s appeal of lower court rulings blocking the ban.

The court’s decision could come any time and is expected no later than late next week…..


The case is at the Supreme Court because two federal appellate courts have ruled against the Trump travel policy, which would impose a 90-day pause in travel from citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, said the ban was “rooted in religious animus” toward Muslims and pointed to Trump’s campaign promise to impose a ban on Muslims entering the country as well as tweets and remarks he has made since becoming president.

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the travel policy does not comply with federal immigration law, including a prohibition on nationality-based discrimination.

That court also put a hold on separate aspects of the policy that would keep all refugees out of the United States for 120 days and cut by more than half, from 110,000 to 50,000, the cap on refugees in the current government spending year that ends Sept. 30.

More here.

If the court rules against Trump on this last point, I see the contractors getting what they always wanted—the President’s determination set in September in advance of the fiscal year would become a TARGET that must be reached, and not simply a CEILING not to be exceeded.  (The Refugee Act of 1980 does have a mechanism for increasing the ceiling during the course of the year that requires consultation with Congress, but is silent if the President comes in low.)

For a laugh, as the contractors argue in the Supreme Court that the President (in this case, Donald Trump) doesn’t have the right to set the ceiling, they say this (see here) about a bill in Congress that would eliminate some Presidential power to set the ceiling:

“….it would remove presidential authority to set the number of refugees who may enter the country per year.”

Make up your minds—does the Prez have the power or not? Truth be told, this is about Donald Trump and not if the president was Mark Zuckerberg!

***Federal refugee resettlement contractors are paid by you, on a per head basis, to place refugees in your towns:


6 Responses to “Supreme Court could announce fate of Trump ‘travel ban’ and refugee ceiling reduction at any time”

  1. vdorta said

    What our country has come to. This is not a done deal by any means, with the liberal group vote and Justices Roberts and Kennedy. There could well be a constitutional crisis if these two guys in black robes decide against the executive and I hope President Trump stands his ground on this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. An immigration and refugee administrator/conselor for 22 years before my retirement in 2003, I would be appalled and sickened if SCOTUS once again flouts congressional intent by siding with the 9th and 4th circuits. And what is most odious and terrifying to me is the fact that we today have come to believe that SCOTUS, America’s uneledcted, unaccountable, black-robed judicial Delphic Oracles, are somehow empowered by the Constitution to nullify executive or legislature edicts/laws. Article III grants SCOTUS no such authority, and never has!!!!! It can opine, NOT RULE and enforce. The weight of their opinion is that of moral suasion. Nothing more. Their OPINIONS regarding constitutionality of matters brought before them are no more n or less valid than the opinions of the States, the Executive and Congress. Jefferson and his fellow founders warned of this judicial tyranny. Well, it’s here and what the hell are WE and our so-called “representatives” going to do about it? I suspect we’ll whine and our representatives will duck and cover–AGAIN. Not the way a constitutional republic is supposed to operate.

    There’s a reason this bumper sticker appears prominently on the rear window of my vehicle: “Secession Sounds Better Every Day”. I dream of a return to Jeffersonian republicanism which existed before Lincoln’s Revolution, aka Lincoln’s War, which turned this government upside down. Wilson, TR and the Roosevelts merely accelerated our rendezvous with national suicide.

    Yes, I’m extremely angry and fed-up with the lawlessness and our “leaders'” faithlessness to our founding principles. History teaches us that this grotesque state of affairs is not going to end well for any of us.


  3. Huge power is in the hands of just a few contractors, the United Nations, Islam protectors, Christian haters, and nine Supreme Court justices, (among which are several “in the tank for Obama” members”. The American people be damned, what’s good for Obama’s fancies ought to be good for Trump’s fancies. More and more our destinies are controlled by decisions made by SCOTUS minds whose filters have nothing to do with the good of the American people, but with a pre-conceived inclusion of global government, open borders, the Muslim Caliphate and the financial markets of the federal reserve, and work in behalf of megalomaniacs like Soros, Obama and the Clintons. Will the ridiculous disparity of bringing in huge numbers of potential Muslim terrorists from anti-American countries, while leaving Christians and other infidels behind to be slaughtered by the heathens in the Middle East with no ability to escape. The totality of the huge imbalance, (virtually no OTM’s, Other Than Muslims, escape to the infidel world) while murderers cavort and skip to our shores as “refugees”, and the “compassion” of greed-mongers profit handsomely by their presence.


  4. You might want to stick with THE HORSE’S MOUTH, instead of these LAME ‘information sources’.



    This is an OFFICIAL SCOTUS source for the layperson. You pay for it.

    And then there were six – the remaining cases

    The justices are expected to take the bench on Monday at 10 a.m. to issue opinions in argued cases. There are six decisions still outstanding, involving everything from cross-border shootings to the death penalty and public funding for playgrounds at religious preschools. To be sure, there is no guarantee that we will actually get opinions on the merits in all six of these cases: Three of the remaining cases were argued before Justice Neil Gorsuch took the bench in April, creating a not-insubstantial possibility that the justices are deadlocked. With Gorsuch now on the bench, the justices could order reargument in those three cases, which would presumably take place next fall. But we will know much more by the end of Monday morning. In any event, here is a brief summary of each of the six cases, organized by the sitting in which they were argued.


  5. I don’t see how citizens of other countries have “standing” or jurisdiction to even sue the POTUS in US District Court. Congress passed a law leaving it to the descretion of the POTUS how immigration is to operate including zero immigration if it is not in the interest of the US.

    Standing (legal concept) = the term for the ability of a party to demonstrate to the court sufficient connection to and harm from the law or action challenged to support that party’s participation in the case. In the United States, the current doctrine is that a person cannot bring a suit challenging the constitutionality of a law unless the plaintiff can demonstrate that he/she/it is or will “imminently” be harmed by the law. Otherwise, the court will rule that the plaintiff “lacks standing” to bring the suit, and will dismiss the case without considering the merits of the claim of unconstitutionality. To have a court declare a law unconstitutional, there must be a valid reason for the lawsuit. The party suing must have something to lose in order to sue unless it has automatic standin by action of law. In United States law, the Supreme Court has stated, “In essence the question of standing is whether the litigant is entitled to have the court decide the merits of the dispute or of particular issues.” Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 498 (1975).

    The “case or controversy” requirement of standing is violated because the plaintiff’s are still in their home countries and have not travelled to the US. For example, the Court has determined that this clause prohibits the issuance of advisory opinions (in which no actual issue exists but an opinion is sought), and claims where the appellant stands to gain only in a generalized sense (i.e. no more or less than people at large), and allows only the adjudication of claims where (1) the plaintiff has actually and personally suffered injury or harm “in fact”, (2) the injury or harm suffered by the plaintiff is fairly traceable to the defendant’s actions and (3) the injury or harm would be capable of redress by the court.

    There is no “right” of citizens of other countries to come to the US, so no “right” has been violated, so there is no “case or controversy,” so there is no standing or jurisdiction for this case to be heard.

    Liked by 1 person

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