Do you have whiplash from watching the ping-ponging court decisions on Trump’s Muslim Travel Ban(s)? The latest rally began in March, when Hawaii District Court Judge Derrick Watson found Trump Ban II unconstitutional and halted it with a preliminary injunction.
After the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal upheld the injunction the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case in October, but until then it entered a split decision, allowing the travel ban to keep out travelers from six majority-Muslim countries who have no “bona fide relationship” with a U.S. person or entity.
The Supremes didn’t define that ambiguous phrase, leaving Rex Tillerson’s State Department to construe it cruelly, directing that “close family” did not include grandparents and grandchildren, aunts and uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins, and brothers- and sisters-in-law. On Thursday Judge Watson disagreed, using a combination of common sense and legal precedent to find that all of the above ARE “close familial relationships”.
With the ball on Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions’ side of the net, he vowed to appeal Judge Watson’s order. Indeed, on Friday night the feds asked the Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit to stay the order. The Supremes didn’t grant a stay, rather ordered the State of Hawaii and other plaintiffs to respond.
Whatever the courts do, how heart-wrenching that so many people’s lives have been thrown into chaos and turmoil by this horrific travel ban, by Tillerson’s twisted interpretation of it, and by Sessions’ dogged defense of it in court.
These groups are fighting the Muslim Ban – volunteer or donate to help:
- Council on American-Islamic Relations
- Amnesty International’s #NoBanNoWall messaging toolkit with video, graphics, posters and social media samples
- Resistance Manual’s Muslim Ban page
By Heidi Rand