Even after the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration could go forward with the travel ban barring immigration to the U.S. from six Middle Eastern countries for 90 days, Hawaii’s U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson has ruled that the administration cannot enforce the ban as it is written. Watson, who was instrumental in blocking the ban prior to the Supreme Court’s decision, has once again put his court front and center in the fight for this nation’s security. Or, if we’re to be more honest about Watson’s role – the fight AGAINST our nation’s security.
The Supreme Court will not actually take up the case of President Trump’s travel ban until they resume session in the fall, but in the meantime, the majority ruled that the injunction against the ban should be partially lifted. While it was not a comprehensive victory for the Trump administration, it was enough to allow them to begin the process of developing an “extreme vetting” system without worrying about Islamic terrorists sneaking into the country before the system is put in place.
Now that’s out the window. According to Judge Watson’s Thursday ruling, the federal government should not limit visa applicants only to those who have close family members living in the United States. He has decided, in fact, that there is nothing in the Supreme Court’s June 26 decision that says the Trump administration may block grandparents, uncles, and other outside-the-nuclear-family relationships.
“In sum, the government’s definition of ‘close familial relationship’ is not only not compelled by the Supreme Court’s June 26 decision, but contradicts it,” Watson wrote. “Equally problematic, the government’s definition represents the antithesis of common sense. Common sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents.”
That’s debatable. But in any event, this is what Justices like Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch were concerned about when it came to the original lifting of the injunction. Without allowing the White House to enact the ban in full, it would be open to just this sort of legal challenge. And not a week went by before lawyers for blue states were in court, taking advantage of the loophole.
When you consider the fact that this is only a 90-day ban, the idea that family relationships are being torn apart – as argued by Hawaii attorneys – is laughable. We don’t believe it for a minute. Their objection to this ban has nothing to do with families and everything to do with waging political war against a controversial Republican president. Unfortunately, the victim of this war is not Donald Trump; it’s innocent Americans who voted for a leader who would actually stand up and protect this country from foreign terrorism.