An appellate court in California has upheld a lower court's decision to suspend President Donald Trump's executive order to temporarily ban entry into the United States by people from seven Muslim-majority countries. The U.S. judicial branch thus put the brakes on such a reckless move by President Trump.
Three judges who tried the case unanimously decided to uphold the lower court's decision, which represents a complete defeat for Trump. The president is poised to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court, saying that the safety of the United States is in jeopardy. However, he should abandon appealing the case because the executive order was too hasty and reckless.
It goes without saying that if the United States abruptly nullifies visas for people from certain countries, it would throw the world into confusion. The president issued the executive order even though it was obvious that students from affected countries enrolled at U.S. schools could not return to their schools and those who have obtained U.S. visas to undergo surgery at U.S. hospitals would be denied entry into the U.S.
Still, Trump claims that he took the measure for the safety of the United States. However, a representative of the Department of Justice failed to provide a convincing explanation of whether and how the seven countries were involved in terrorism during an appeal trial. This was an extremely sloppy response.
Moreover, the Trump administration's argument that it was unreasonable that a federal district court in Washington issued a provisional injunction suspending the executive order was dismissed. The appeals court's view that it is natural for courts to judge the legality of administrative orders is rational.
Trump's response suggests that he believes that the president's intentions should be given priority over judicial judgments. His remark that the judges' views are stupid highlights his disrespect for judicial authorities. He appears to fundamentally misunderstand the independence of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government.
Even Neil Gorsuch, who has been nominated by Trump as a Supreme Court justice, has expressed regret over the president's attack on the judicial branch. The top court currently comprises four conservative and four liberal justices. Even if the appointment of Gorsuch as a top court justice is to be eventually approved, it will likely take a long time before he assumes the post. There are observations that the top court will uphold the appellate court's decision with four supporting it and the four others against it.
Still, the results of public opinion polls showing that quite a few U.S. citizens support the executive order highlight the difficulties involving the issues of immigration, refugees and terrorism. U.S. citizens still appear to be wavering over immigration policy as they have been seriously thinking about their own safety since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
However, it is not right for the United States to close its doors to the Muslim world while there are reportedly numerous potential terrorists in the country. During the presidential election campaign, Trump underscored the need to enforce a total ban on entry into the United States by Muslims. However, it is difficult for Washington to implement effective countermeasures against terror unless the president fundamentally changes his discriminatory and exclusive thoughts.
The United States should start over while respecting a wide diversity of opinions. Even if Trump sticks to his hasty executive order and continues his legal battle, it would only isolate the United States from the rest of the world and widen divisions within the country and overseas.