- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 16, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Once again, judges listening to the latest challenge to President Donald Trump’s travel ban focused on whether the order unconstitutionally discriminates against Muslims.

What a crock. The left, for some odd reason, has a thing for terrorists. Or for open borders. Or both.

How can it be discriminatory to want to keep out citizens of countries that are known hot spots for terror? That these countries happen to be mostly Muslim isn’t Trump’s choosing.

If he wanted to keep out the Muslims, as the left likes to intone, he would’ve included India among the list of affected countries.

But the order — neither Trump’s first, nor his now-challenged revised second — mention religion.

The three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, predictably enough, given the liberal leanings of that court, honed right in on the Muslim angle, though, while hearing arguments from executive order opponents — opponents that include civil rights groups and the state of Hawaii.

And judges and opponents did so by going back in time and picking selective statements made by Trump on the campaign trail.

As CNBC reported, 9th Circuit Judge Richard Paez said that many of Trump’s remarks about banning Muslims from America came “during the midst of a highly contentious campaign.” So, he wondered, how much weight should they be given? Well, how about little-to-none?

Better would be for a judge, as a gate guard of the Constitution, to give weight to the actual document before him for constitutional consideration. Why go back in time?

But Hawaii’s Neal Katyal, an attorney opposing the ban, responded with this, CNBC reported: “The government has not engaged in mass, dragnet exclusions in the past 50 years. This is something new and unusual in which you’re saying this whole class of people, some of whom are dangerous, we can ban them all.”

This is such a gross mischaracterization of Trump’s executive order. The order simply names nations that have already been identified by the federal government as terror hot spots — by even the Barack Obama White House as breeding grounds for terror. And then it takes that information and packages it as a temporary travel ban — a 90 day temporary travel ban — on people trying to come to America from those countries. The order further puts a halt to refugees entering the country as well.

But the bans are temporary, aimed only at allowing U.S. immigration agencies an opportunity to catch up with border issues to better watch who’s coming in, and whether they mean to come to do harm to American citizens.

It’s common-sense national security.

But the panel of judges who heard this latest challenge is made up entirely of Bill Clinton appointees. Meanwhile, the whole argument of the opposition has been to point to Trump’s campaign rhetoric as proof positive of his executive order’s inherent racism. Judges aren’t looking at the merits of the order, the text of the document. They’re reviewing the past campaign statements of the president and trying to peer into his heart to determine true intent.

This isn’t just a shot to common sense. It’s a dangerous trend of judicial activism. If judges are allowed to overlook what’s in front of them in paper form and instead, base constitutional decisions on what’s been said in the past, then it won’t be long before our entire court system becomes little more than a sham.

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