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President Trump’s Tweets Completely Undermine Legal Case for Travel Ban

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This morning, President Donald Trump went on another one of his trademark tweet-storms, this time addressing the legal battle over his executive order restricting travel from six Muslim-majority countries. This order, of course, was the second such order that the President signed, after the first one had been blocked by the courts for being overly restrictive. The court used Trump’s past remarks to support their opinion, and I even wrote against that reasoning, but now Trump is reiterating the same rhetoric that his lawyers have been working so hard to dismiss.

The Fourth Circuit used Trump’s campaign statements endorsing a Muslim ban as evidence that the first order was religiously motivated, as well as a statement from former Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani, where the former New York City Mayor discussed how Trump and called it a Muslim ban and that the President asked him how to “do it legally.” Due to those remarks, plus Trump’s own statements that the second order was just a “watered down” version of the first, the court decided that the second order was also meant to be a Muslim ban. Since then, of course, Trump had helped his cause by going to Saudi Arabia and reaching out to the Muslim world while speaking out against terrorism and extremism, which I argued was evidence that his order was based on national security, not religion. Of course, POTUS can’t keep his mouth shut or his Twitter silent, and now he’s unraveling his own case before our very eyes.

See for yourselves:

A major part of the Fourth Circuit’s reasoning was that while the second travel ban technically wasn’t as bad as the first one, the same improper intention was behind it. Now, Trump is basically flat-out yelling to the world that not only is the second order the same as the first in its spirit, but even after courts ruled against the first one, he still thinks it’s better than the newer one. He’s basically telling the Supreme Court, “Ignore whatever my lawyers tell you to justify the second, less restrictive ban. I only signed it because I had to, and if it were up to me, we’d stick with the first one or something worse. Believe me.”

Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t buy that Trump’s goal is religious discrimination. I maintain my position that he really is looking out for national security, just in a totally wrong way. But when court decisions that ruled against him cite his comments as evidence supporting their positions, it really hurts his case when he repeats and doubles down on those same comments. Both of the travel bans raised complex legal questions, but these new tweets force me to ask one simple question: What is the President thinking?

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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