The United States Supreme Court has partially lifted lower court injunctions against Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim travel ban and agreed to hear in October the Executive Branch’s argument for banning residents of six mostly Muslim countries and suspending the entry of refugees into our once-shining city on a hill.
The Court’s ruling allows the Trump White House to keep out visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen and refugees in general unless those individuals have family, jobs, university admission, or some similar “bona fide” relationship stateside. Absent any such bona fide relationship, the government’s compelling interest in national security prevails unchecked:
The interest in preserving national security is “an urgent objective of the highest order.” Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, 561 U. S. 1, 28 (2010). To prevent the Government from pursuing that objective by enforcing §2(c) against foreign nationals unconnected to the United States would appreciably injure its interests, without alleviating obvious hardship to anyone else.
…An American individual or entity that has a bona fide relationship with a particular person seeking to enter the country as a refugee can legitimately claim concrete hardship if that person is excluded. As to these individuals and entities, we do not disturb the injunction. But when it comes to refugees who lack any such connection to the United States, for the reasons we have set out, the balance tips in favor of the Government’s compelling need to provide for the Nation’s security [Supreme Court of the United States, Per Curiam, Trump v. IRAP and Trump v. Hawaii, 2017.06.26].
The case may moot itself before the Supreme Court hears arguments on the merits in October, since the travel ban lasts only 90 days. The Economist reads sneaky genius on the part of Chief Justice John Roberts:
So, despite granting Mr Trump’s plea to hear his case and largely lifting the lower-court stays on the travel ban, Chief Justice John Roberts apparently worked out an ingenious compromise with his liberal brethren and the swing justice, Anthony Kennedy, that injects the Supreme Court only minimally into a big question on the scope of executive power in the Trump era. The chief justice has avoided making politically volatile judicial pronouncements on presidential immigration powers, anti-Muslim bias and the justiciability of tweets, and has positioned himself somewhere to the left of the court’s new conservative triumvirate [“The Supreme Court’s Curious Compromise on the Travel Ban,” The Economist, 2017.06.26].
A Twitter-tilt with Senator Stace Nelson over the weekend has me wondering if the Court may be accused by the Trump-right of missing the point. Last week I cheered Taneeza Islam and Indivisible Rapid City for counterprogramming the Islamophobia-fests plaguing our fearful state. In response, Senator Nelson said Ms. Islam and I “defend indefensible evil acts of terrorism by crying ‘racist/bigot’ while attacking those terrorized for being so.” I’m still waiting for Senator Nelson to point to any act of terrorism that I have defended or any victim or terrorism whom I have attacked (Senator Nelson says I defend “the infrastructure supporting these groups engaged in wholesale acts of evil“).
But let’s entertain Senator Nelson’s position. Suppose Ms. Islam and I are wrong. Suppose the anti-Muslim propagandists to whom we’ve been responding are 100% correct: Muslims are waging civilization jihad, every mosque is a bastion of jihadi occupation, every Muslim will lie and do violence for Allah, and every liberal or Christian who promotes honest dialogue with Muslims is a dupe supporting terrorism and Sharia. I am not exaggerating—such are the core tenets of every presentation made by the anti-Muslim speakers whom Senator Nelson praises and whom Ms. Islam and I have decried.
If Senator Nelson and those tenets are correct and Ms. Islam and I mere dupes, then today’s ruling by the Supreme Court leaves America open to jihad. The anti-Muslim slideshows in Rapid City, Aberdeen, Sioux Falls, and elsewhere teach that all Muslims our out to topple Western civilization. These slideshows make no exception for Muslims with “bona fide” relationships with American citizens or institutions. The Muslims among us are part of the threat, perhaps the greater threat, since they have already established homes, mosques, income streams, and (gasp!) citizenship that allows them to vote, run for office, and change our laws to Sharia. The Supreme Court’s partial implementation of the travel ban does nothing to stop those most dangerous Muslims among us from bringing in their sisters and brothers and other partners in jihad.
If Senator Nelson were right, if I were defending radical Islamic terrorism, if I were faking peaceful atheism to hide a craving for violent theocracy, then I would cheer the Court as nine more useful dupes in jihad. Far from supporting the Commander in Chief’s “number one responsibility… to keep the American people safe,” the Court’s ruling leaves the door open for evil Muslims in America to invite their evil cousins from overseas and for those scheming liberal universities to keep recruiting jihadi students and professors.
But since I’m a rational, decent American who understands as Ronald Reagan did that America’s greatest ramparts are its open doors, I look at the last five months and years prior with any Trump travel ban and see no threat to national security that should motivate the court to allow the idiot in the White House to sully our shining city by tacking up signs at the gates reading, “No Muslims, No Refugees.”